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NHS Confederation - Quarter three performance figures reflect decline in stability of providers

Paul Healy, Senior Policy Advisor on Economics and Regulation, NHS Confederation, responded to NHS quarter three performance figures

“The signals on NHS finances are more important than the noise from one set of three month figures. The last 24 months has established a creeping decline in the stability of providers in the NHS and the figures published today do not indicate a significant shift in this trend. Many factors contributing to this decline are beyond the means of individual organisations and we should be wary of increasing the regulatory pressure on individual trusts leaders. Instead, most problems will be better solved working hard as an entire health and care system to reshape how services are delivered.

“The absolute necessity of transformation, in order to improve care and keep patients safe, should be clear to everyone. We need national bodies to support local systems and enable leaders to find ways of getting the most of the budget available, rather than a single focus on reducing costs in current services. Savings can still be made through technical means, although on their own they are not enough to meet the full funding gap estimated by the end of this decade.

“Instead, we need to stitch a new approach to value into the fabric of the health and care system, which in practical terms means less reliance on cutting the prices paid to hospitals and more emphasis on transformation across the system through new models of care and effective commissioning.”

View related documents:

Quarterly report on the performance of the NHS foundation trusts and NHS trusts: 9 months ended 31 December 2015

News story: NHS providers urged to take more action to counter pressures

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