STPs risk 'starving services of resources' says BMA

by Keith Cooper  (


Ministers have been urged to sort out the ‘mess’ of the NHS STPs (sustainability and transformation plans) after BMA analysis found they must slash £22bn from health and social care costs in five years.

The savings figures were found in papers from 42 of the 44 areas across England.

Officials in each area have been asked by NHS England to predict the financial holes STPs face in their budgets in 2021 and set out how they can close them.

A separate survey by the BMA reveals that most doctors (64 per cent) had not been consulted on STPs, despite many plans requiring significant changes to services to balance their books.

BMA council chair Dr Mark Porter said he had serious concerns about the ‘impossible’ scale of savings demanded by STPs by an ‘unrealistic Government’ which had promised no further funding.

Read more ...

Hounslow Council :Unanimous support for services to stay at Charing Cross and Ealing Hospitals

Paul Williams  Fri, Nov 25, 2016 - Chiswick Herald
At the Borough Council meeting held on Tuesday 22nd November 2016, Hounslow Council passed a motion tabled by the Labour administration to reaffirm the Council’s support for acute services including A&E to remain at both Ealing Hospital and Charing Cross Hospital.

The motion, seconded by the Leader of the Council, Cllr Steve Curran, was fully supported by the Tory group and refers to a statement recently released by five west London borough councils (Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, Hounslow, Harrow and Brent) acknowledging the serious concerns raised by Ealing Council and Hammersmith and Fulham Council with regard to the threat of closure of their A&Es.

Reacting after the meeting, the Leader of the Council, Cllr Steve Curran, said: “I am delighted that the Tory opposition group fully supported our motion and it will send out a clear message of solidarity with our neighbouring boroughs.

It is essential that both local government and the NHS work together collaboratively, especially at a time of financial cuts imposed by the Tory government, to ensure that we provide the best possible service for our residents, particularly those groups more at risk, such as the elderly.”

Hospital bed squeeze is being miscounted and causing congestion

11 October 2016 - The Nuffield Trust


With performance falling below targets and winter approaching, a Nuffield Trust briefing today warns the NHS can no longer find enough bed space to move patients through hospitals quickly and meet key A&E targets – and that its practice of counting patients at midnight means we are missing the true scale of the squeeze.

Understanding patient flow in hospitals, a briefing for NHS managers, estimates that 5.5% of beds need to be free for cleaning and preparation if patients are to be moved through quickly enough to meet the high-profile commitment to admit or transfer emergency patients within four hours. Yet many hospitals are unable to provide this much of the time, making target breaches inevitable. With a growing number of patients coming and going during the day, counting bed occupancy at midnight means that crunch times are often invisible.

Read more ...

NHS trusts overshoot maximum annual deficit in just six months

Regulator says English trusts set for £648m first-half deficit after £580m was forecast as most that could be overspent this year

NHS trusts in England have overshot their maximum deficit permissible for the financial year after just six months despite a £900m emergency cash injection from the government.

NHS Improvement (NHSI) said financial performance information from providers show they are on track to record a year-to-date deficit of £648m in the first half of the year.

The financial regulator described the figures, published on Friday [18th November], as “just £22m worse than planned” but they are some way off what health leaders have defined as an acceptable overspend for 2016-17, even by the most generous interpretation.

NHS England’s chief executive, Simon Stevens, and Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, have pledged to ensure that trusts end the year no more than £250m in the red, while other NHS leaders have said the service can afford to record a figure of £580m without risking major financial problems.

Trusts are forecasting a deficit of £669m for the year, although that is after the £1.8bn sustainability and transformation funding, £900m of which was paid out in the first six months.

Read more ...