HSJ Exclusive: Trusts rejected ‘irresponsible’ savings targets of up to 10pc

Providers that rejected their financial targets for next year had been tasked with delivering efficiency savings three times higher than what is deemed achievable, according to analysis shared with HSJ.

More than a quarter of NHS trusts have rejected their “control total” for 2017-18 – equating to around 60 organisations – and analysis by NHS Providers suggests the efficiency assumptions within them averaged 6.4 per cent.

Both Lord Carter, who led a major review into NHS efficiency, and former Monitor chief executive David Bennett have previously said 2 per cent is an achievable efficiency target for providers.

NHS Providers’ analysis was based on survey responses from around 100 organisations.

It said trusts had described their savings requirements as “impossible” and “undeliverable”, and that it would be “irresponsible” for the board to sign up to them.

Full story in the HSJ, 22 March 2017