Financial Performance Accountability

Strengthening Financial Performance and Accountability in 2016/17 sets out a series of actions designed to support the NHS to achieve financial sustainability and improve operational performance.

A wide-ranging seven-point set of actions is being taken by NHS Improvement, NHS England with the support of the Department of Health and the Care Quality Commission. We have:

  • allocated an extra £1.8 billion to trusts, with the aim set by NHS Improvement of cutting the combined provider deficit to around £250 million in 2016/17 and the ambition that, in aggregate, the provider position commences 2017/18 in run-rate balance;
  • replaced national fines with trust-specific incentives linked to agreed organisation-specific published performance improvement trajectories, so as to kick-start a multi-year recovery and redesign of A&E and elective care;
  • agreed ‘financial control totals’ with individual trusts and CCGs, which represent the minimum level of financial performance, against which their boards, governing bodies and chief executives must deliver in 2016/17, and for which they will be held directly accountable;
  • introduced new intervention regimes of special measures which will be applied to both trusts and CCGs who are not meeting their financial commitments;
  • set new controls to cap the cost of interim managers and to fast track savings from back office, pathology and temporary staffing;
  • published the 2015/16 performance ratings for CCGs; and
  • launched a two-year NHS planning and contracting round for 2017/18-2018/19, to be completed by December 2016, and linked to agreed STPs.

The measures announced in this document, as well as wider actions with individual organisations and local health economies, are designed to give us the best opportunity to bring the NHS back onto a sustainable footing.

The future success of the NHS depends on providers and CCGs using this year to ‘reset’ their performance, and each must take organisational and personal accountability for meeting their financial and performance commitments in line with the funding allocated this year to the NHS by Parliament. NHS Improvement and NHS England will not hesitate both to support people in doing so and to step in where needed to ensure this is secured.