The changing geography of NHS deficits

4 March 2016

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  • There are a number of reasons for deficits in the NHS and it is impossible to pinpoint any single cause for the deteriorating financial position. More analysis can be found in our report ‘A perfect storm: an impossible climate for NHS providers’ finances?’

  • In 2012/13, all regions reported a net surplus. The majority (seven out of 10) regions had a net surplus greater than £30m.

  • In 2014/15 only one region (the North East) had a net surplus, and this is less than £10m. The majority (seven out of 10) regions had a net deficit greater than £50m.

The financial position of NHS providers in England has substantially deteriorated in recent years, falling from a net surplus of £577m in 2012/13 to a net deficit of £841m in 2014/15 (2015/16 prices).

This chart shows that the finance decline is affecting all parts of the country, rather than being driven by a small number of struggling health economies. In 2012/13, all regions were in a net surplus position, with the majority (seven out of 10) reporting a net surplus greater than £30m (2015/16 prices). In 2013/14 while three regions still had net surpluses over £30m, six regions reported a net deficit, two of which were in excess of £50m. By 2014/15 the majority (seven out of 10) regions have net deficits in excess of £50m. Only one region (the North East) has a net surplus, and this is less than £10m.

This chart forms part of our new report ‘A perfect storm: an impossible climate for NHS providers’ finances?’ which examines some of the reasons behind the declining financial performance of NHS providers in England.

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