Monitor has released figures for NHS England’s spending over the first half of this year. The figures reveal that the NHS is running a deficit of £1.6bn which was ahead of forecasted spending by almost £400 million.
The predictions for the deficit for the whole year now stand at £2.2bn. Some have suggested the main reason for the deficit is due to staffing shortages in NHS trusts and an increasing dependency on agency staff. One of the telling findings from the report into NHS spending relates to the cost of agency and contract staff which totalled £1.8bn- a £900million overspend on their budget.
In spite of the negative press around the NHS David Mackey, the soon to be chief executive of NHS Improvement (the merged entity of Monitor and TDA) said: –
“We keep hearing about organisations going into special measures, having quality problems, staff engagement problems, etcetera, etcetera. But in spite of that we’ve got some fantastic examples across the NHS of people doing wonderful things. Even in struggling organisations you will see fantastic things happening. And the NHS overall I think is still the best system in the world, in terms of a joined up, fully comprehensive, accessible to all system. And we need to cherish that.”