NHS financial sustainability

The NAO’s November 2016 report on financial sustainability in the NHS highlighted a sharp deterioration in financial performance with providers increasingly reliant on financial support. The plan to close the estimated £22 billion gap in resources by 2020-21 had not been fully tested and there was a lack of incentives to support local NHS bodies to achieve certain unrealistic targets.

NHS England introduced 44 sustainability and transformation plan (STP) ‘footprints’, each of which has now produced a plan explaining how local services will meet rising demand within the resources available over the next five years, and make a reality of the NHS Five Year Forward View. NHS organisations and local authorities in these 44 footprint came together to develop these ‘place-based plans’.

This study will examine the progress made by the Department of Health and its arm’s-length bodies towards achieving a financially sustainable set of plans and results. It will provide a summary of the financial position of local NHS bodies as well as NHS England in 2016-17. It will examine the support that the Department of Health and its arm’s-length bodies give to local bodies and the incentives and mechanisms they are putting in place to make local sustainability and transformation plans a success.

If you would like to provide evidence for our investigation please email the study team on enquiries@nao.gsi.gov.uk, putting the study title in the subject line. The team will consider the evidence you provide; however, please note that due to the volume of information we receive we may not respond to you directly. If you need to raise a concern please use our contact form.