Paul Baumann, Chief Financial Officer at NHS England said: “Monitor will shortly be announcing the results of their consultation on the 2015/16 tariff. They will report details showing that while only a minority of providers and CCGs responded negatively, the relevant response threshold by market share was reached.
Since the overall NHS funding totals for 2015/16 are now agreed, any changes to the proposed tariff would in practice just be robbing Peter to pay Paul – meaning less investment in other hospitals, mental health or GP and community services – the exact opposite of what pressures this winter show is now needed.
The alternative is that the Health and Social Care Act says that in these circumstances the Competition and Markets Authority now considers the issue.
While that happens, the current tariff rolls forward. To ensure NHS finances balance during this interim period before a new tariff takes effect, there may need to be equivalent reductions to CQUIN and other supplementary payments. It would mean that, in the meantime, the proposed increases to the emergency marginal rate from 30 per cent to 50 per cent would not take effect.
Monitor and NHS England will update the sector with more detail on next steps within the next fortnight.
In the meantime, CCGs and providers should assume that the 2015/16 planning round proceeds on the agreed timetable, within the funding and overall efficiency envelope set out in the joint planning guidance issued just before Christmas.”