NHS: Finance

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 11th June 2018.

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Photo of Jon Ashworth Jon Ashworth Shadow Secretary of State for Health

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the total deficit was of the NHS provider sector at the end of each financial year since 2010-11 to date.

Photo of Jon Ashworth Jon Ashworth Shadow Secretary of State for Health

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, in which budget area the largest average overspend by NHS trusts took place in each year since 2010-11.

Photo of Stephen Barclay Stephen Barclay Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The following table provides a time-series of the aggregate net deficit reported by the provider sector for each year from 2010-11 to 2017-18.


Surplus/(deficit) (£ million)


















2010-11 to 2016-17 as per published Department of Health Annual Report and Accounts 2016-17.

2017-18 figures as per NHS Improvement Quarterly Performance Report Q4 2017-18. Reported deficit includes the adjustment for the provider element of the remaining winter pressures funding and is based on draft accounts data that may change due to local audits being finalised for inclusion in the Department’s Annual Accounts 2017-18 due to be published in July 2018.

The main budgeting areas against which trusts plan include income, pay, agency costs and non-staffing related expenditure. A surplus or deficit is the combination of these categories and a trust will plan against these expenditure categories and agree these plans with NHS Improvement at the beginning of each financial year.

Expenditure budgets are set at the start of the financial year. Providers may spend more than they originally planned at the start of the year, simply because patient care demand was higher than originally planned for. Whilst this appears as an overspend, for individual providers the additional income associated with the increased patient volumes may mean the overall financial position is not adversely impacted.

Although surplus/deficit data from 2010-11 is publicly available as published in the Annual Report and Accounts, detailed plan data on expenditure categories is only available on a comparable basis for all trusts from 2015/16. Data from 2015-16 to 2017-18 has identified that pay, including agency spend, was the budget area which saw the largest average overspend. Details on provider outturns against plans are published quarterly from 2016-17 onwards by NHS Improvement.”

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