It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
A regulator has warned hospitals in England they could face having to make savings about 50% higher than those already demanded by ministers. Monitor, which oversees NHS foundation trusts and assesses applications for foundation status, blamed factors such as greater-than-expected inflation. It has written to local health chiefs after significantly revising its financial assumptions. Ministers said the warning was based on Monitor's most "pessimistic" scenario. The regulator said hospitals could have to make average savings of up to 6% or 7% a year, compared with the annual 4% set out by the previous Labour government, as part of efforts to cut £20bn from running costs.
The Department of Health, which wants all trusts to have foundation status by March 2014, said it had been clear that the NHS needed to make up to £20bn of efficiency savings by 2015 to reinvest in care. But it said the 50% extra savings figure was based on the "more pessimistic" of two scenarios set out by the regulator. A Department of Health spokeswoman said: "The NHS is in a strong financial position. "We are investing an extra £11.5bn into the NHS by 2014-15. But higher costs and an ageing population mean that the NHS must meet the highest possible financial standards and find savings to reinvest into patient care. "Monitor's assessment of 6% to 7% is its 'downside case', meaning it is more pessimistic. "But it is right that Monitor's assessments are challenging - we want all hospitals to be able to meet Monitor's standards and show that they can provide sustainable, high quality and efficient services for their patients."