NHS trusts told by regulator to look at ‘unaffordable’ financial plans

Monitor, the health services regulator, has written to 46 trusts with the biggest deficit to challenge their current financial plans and suggested cost saving measures, such as as only filling essential staff vacancies and ensuring staff is efficiently deployed across all required shifts.

David Bennet, chief executive of Monitor, said that the NHS is facing an almost unprecedented financial challenge this year and even encouraged trusts planning for a surplus this year to consider cost saving measures.

In the letter to trusts Bennet wrote: ”We are already reviewing and challenging the plans of the 46 foundation trusts with the biggest deficits… However, it is clear that this process will not close the funding gap and so we need all providers - even those planning for a surplus this year - to look again at their plans to see what more can be done."

A spokesman from NHS England said: "We support this move by NHS regulators, on top of the package of financial controls announced earlier in the year, to ensure the service lives within its means without compromising standards.”

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