THE NHS in Britain is in the worst financial position in a generation, according to regulators on Friday, October 9.
The arrears for this year alone may yet add up to two billion pounds (2.6 billion euros). This projection comes after NHS trusts and foundation trusts showed losses of almost one billion pounds in the first three months of the financial year.
Health regulators, Monitor, said that the foundation trust sector is “under massive pressure” and is not in a financial position to continue without making changes.
Monitor pointed to wages for staff costing more than originally expected and an “over reliance” on outside agency staff as the primary reason for the overspend.
The NHS now spends over three billion pounds (3.9 billion euros) on agency staff.
Monitor examined 151 NHS foundation trusts in its study and the Trust Development Authority (TDA) looked at another 90 NHS trusts in a separate study.
The TDA reported that 72 of the 90 trusts ended the financial quarter with a shortfall.
Anita Charlesworth of the Health Foundation, an independent charity, said that: “Despite warning signs that NHS costs are spiralling, as yet there is no published national plan to improve efficiency and contain costs.”
The Shadow Health Secretary, Labour’s Heidi Alexander, said “The alarming deterioration in NHS finances is a direct result of actions this government has taken.”