Major NHS shake-up faces ‘£500 million cash shortfall’

NHS news
NHS news

A major shake-up of health services proposed for the Crawley, Horsham and Mid Sussex area needs nearly £500 million of funding - but the NHS doesn’t have the cash.

That’s according to new analysis by the British Medical Association of the government-ordered ‘sustainability and transformation plan’ for the area.

The BMA says that the vast sum is needed just to create infrastructure to deliver projects contained in the plan, including building projects and investment in community facilities.

According to figures obtained by the BMA under a Freedom of Information request, Sussex and East Surrey needs £491,500,000 at a time when services are already in the red.

The Crawley Clinical Commissioning Group - a group responsible for planning, monitoring and paying for health services in Crawley - currently receives £142.4 million a year from the NHS budget.

Meanwhile, the Horsham and Mid Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group currently receives £231.1 million for NHS services in the district.

But the Crawley CCG is likely to face a £43million funding gap by 2021, if nothing changes, and the Horsham and Mid Sussex CCG is facing a £72million deficit.

The British Medical Association says that, nationally, around £9.5 billion is needed in capital funding to cover the cost of sustainability and transformation plans across the country which the NHS does not have.

BMA chairman Dr Mark Porter said that the plans had been drawn up “largely behind closed doors by rushed health and social care leaders trying to develop impossible plans for the future while struggling to keep the NHS from the brink of collapse.

“These figures are especially concerning given that everyone can see a huge crisis unfolding within our NHS, with record numbers of trusts and GP practices raising the alarm to say they already can’t cope.

“The NHS is at breaking point and the STP process could have offered a chance to deal with some of the problems that the NHS is facing, like unnecessary competition, expensive fragmentation and buildings and equipment often unfit for purpose, but there is clearly nowhere near the funding required to carry out these plans.

“These plans are fast becoming completely unworkable and have instead revealed a health service that is unsustainable without urgent further investment, and with little capacity to ‘transform’ in any meaningful way other than by reducing the provision of services on a drastic scale.”