NHS bosses launch ‘reset’ plan to tackle £2.45bn deficit

NHS bosses have launched a plan to “reset” the health service’s broken finances that will see overspending hospitals taken into financial special measures, as part of a crackdown to tackle a £2.45bn deficit.

Five hospital trusts that are set to overshoot their budgets by a wide margin this year, and nine GP-led local clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) that are facing acute financial problems, are the first NHS bodies to be forced into special measures. Their bosses have been given weeks to devise an action plan to reduce overspending or risk being replaced.

The initiative was unveiled as it emerged that the Department of Health avoided busting its £118.3bn budget in 2015-16 only because it received £417m more than planned in extra national insurance receipts because of an “administrative error” for which it will not be punished.

However, the health secretary is likely to face a parliamentary inquiry into his department’s figures after the Commons public accounts committee accused him of “underhand” behaviour in publishing his department’s figures on the last day before MPs leave for their summer break.

Full story in The Guardian 21 July 2016