Reports highlight key challenges for the future of NHS Trusts

Writing for the Guardian, Chief Executive of the Foundation Trust Network Chris Hopson has presented recent reports by Monitor and the Trust Development Authority for NHS Foundation Trusts that have identified four major trends that will lead to significant challenges for NHS Trusts:

  • Very significant financial pressure, with 41% of acute trusts already in deficit at last year’s end and numbers expected to increase.
  • A rapid, largely unfunded, growth in staff numbers, following recommendations of the Keogh and Francis reviews and the new inspections regime of the Care and Quality Commission, which puts pressure in Trusts’ finances.
  • Good operational performance but with some growing concerns on the pressure experienced in elective access.
  • A pessimistic outlook, with financial plans submitted by trusts showing concern over next year’s financing, stemming from a combination of funding reductions, demand growth, the need to maintain service quality, reductions in specialist commissioning budget and the impact of the Better Care Fund.