Harsh financial reality and cuts bite in new NHS organisations

Reality is beginning to bite for the new Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) as their promises of achieving a financial break-even by the end of 2022/23 look to be fading fast for many.

At the halfway point in the 2022/23 financial year, HSJ has found that two out of three ICS are not on track to break-even and many are likely to have to report large deficits in their first year of operation, despite them signing up to break-even plans at the start of the year.

This news comes as no surprise, as The Lowdown reported back in May almost all of those ICS for which figures were available were already projecting substantial deficits in their first year in charge. With all of their projections also likely to be undermined by the growth of inflation.

Since May inflation has escalated and the ICSs have also reported pressure due to the previous year’s Covid funding being cut by more than half, the additional funding for hospital discharges (Hospital Discharge Plan) ending, and having to spend more on agency staff due to staff shortages. The ICSs have struggled to deliver savings to reduce deficits.

Full story in The Lowdown, 29 November 2022