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Independents' Day

Hospitals to receive £1.8bn to implement 'seven-day' NHS

Hospitals in England are set for a £1.8bn funding boost in return agreeing to increasing seven-day services, the Government has announced.

The money comes from the £3.8m ‘front-loaded’ investment in NHS reform announced in the Spending Review in November, from a £10bn total to be invested by 2020/21.

The Government said the £1.8bn was a ‘transformation fund’ which would ’give the NHS the time and space in needs to… make seven-day services a reality for patients and… meet the ambitions of the NHS Five Year Forward View’.

However it added that it would only ’be allocated dependent on hospitals meeting a series of strict conditions’.

These ’strict and non-negotiable conditions’ included:

  • agreeing plans to reduce deficits and break even within a reasonable timeframe;
  • making further progress to reduce agency spend;
  • agreeing plans to continue meeting targets, such as the four-hour A&E standard, the 18-week referral-to-treatment standard and ambulance access standards;
  • setting out plans for achieving seven-day services by 2020.

The Government said that although all acute trusts would receive a share of the funding for signing up to the conditions, some may get more for showing that they can ’deliver additional efficiencies and improvements’. 

NHS Improvement, NHS England and the Department of Health will write to trusts shortly to detail how funding will be distributed.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said: ’We’re offering trusts help to improve their financial position and transform services for patients based on that planned investment, subject to strict conditions.

’This will allow hospitals to focus their efforts on making the NHS a truly 7 day service, offering the same excellent world class care every day of the week.’


Readers' comments (9)

  • However it added that it would only ’be allocated dependent on hospitals meeting a series of strict conditions’

    Sounds a bit like what Germany did with Greece. As we all know, Greece is now a very wealthy and thriving country. Fools.

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  • So if they sign - up but fail achieve said goal - will the government claw the money back? And if so from where, if the money has already been spent ?

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  • Rubbish as there already is a 7 day a week service. Or am I living on a planet where stating the obvious is a lie?
    It is like the Emporors new clothes. Everyone can see he is wearing nothing but no one dare state the truth.

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  • Dear All,
    Watch how secondary care operates. Money is tight. Standards fall, deficeits rise, they reach £2Bn.
    Mr Hunt then offers £1.8Bn if for them "agreeing plans", "reasonable timeframe", "further progress" and finally "setting out plans for achieving seven-day services by 2020".
    Its media froth for whats called a bailout.

    Last year A/E fell over and they got £500M.

    We need to learn from this. We have taken a 25% drop in funding and an at least 13% rise in work and we still buckle down and get ion with it.

    We need to learn the benefits of being seen to fail.

    Paul C

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  • Totally inadequate funding for an insane unnecessary and wasteful stupid objective
    Allegedly criminal waste of public money by a totally disgraceful evil and allegedly corrupt government one of the worst of modern times

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  • What a load of rubbish. "Strict criteria?" Read them carefully. Nothing strict here. All the acute trusts have to do is formulate plans and move in the right direction.
    Truth is, as previous contributors have stated, when acute trusts fail they are rewarded and bailed out, whilst general practice has to fight for every penny.

    Anyway, this money will not even cover deficits over the next few years. By 2020 Hunt will have long departed his job and will not have to answer for the fact that his 7 day plan will have either failed or cost billions more than was envisaged and be an unnecessary luxury which threatens the entire NHS.
    The 7 day plan is simply a distraction to make the public think the goverment is nurturing and improving the NHS when its real agenda is to dismantle it.

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  • It would have been a joke if it wasn't so tragic. The money is not enough even to cover the deficit.

    The NHS overspent by £930m in three months this year and is on course for an annual deficit of at least £2bn, in its worst financial crisis in a generation.

    Hospitals are spending more than their budgets as they struggle to cope with the “triple whammy” of growing demand for care, £2bn of unexpected staff costs and the service’s finances being the tightest for years.

    But 1.8b "gift" makes excellent 10 o'c News

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  • Good plan, make targets that are impossible and offer a carrot. Claw back 100% of it. quite simple. its the idiots who are going to accept this that need to see a shrink and soon. I would just say a simple thanks but no thanks to this and carry on as normal. But what do I know, I'm just a GP.

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  • I do not understand this. Already the local trust cannot find beds for people and ops etc are cancelled. If they start increasing activity at weekends then where do these people go? Do they then bill the CCG for more procedures etc thus increasing costs even more?? Not sure it has been fully thought through.

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