Survey Finds NHS Hospitals Losing Half a Billion Pounds A Year

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3rd July 2013 11:04 - Health

Market research from the Foundation Trust Network shows many its of members are unhappy with the “30% margin rule”, which limits how much money hospitals receive for emergency admissions.  Once hospitals reach a set number of admissions they only get a third (30%) of the full cost of treating the patient - the idea being that the extra seven tenths (70%) can be invested into other services such as primary care, reducing inappropriate A&E referrals.

More than nine in ten (96%) Foundation Trust Network (FTN) members believe that the marginal rate is not achieving this aim.  According to the FTN, three quarters (75%) of NHS hospitals have seen emergency admissions increase over the past three years.

FTN's Chief Executive, Chris Hopson, said:

"Overall, hospitals in England are losing somewhere between £500m and £600m a year by not being paid the full cost."

Research uncovered that half (52%) of members said they had not been consulted about how the money should be spent - with a further three quarters (74%) saying that the money had not been reinvested in preventing emergency admissions.

Monitor's Chief Executive, Dr David Bennett recognised concerns over the policy.

"What we need is a much more transparent process where everybody and in particular the acute hospitals themselves can see that that 70% has been invested in reducing their admissions."

The Foundation Trust Network believes much of the money has been used to prop up the core budgets of primary care group commissioning bodies, instead of specific measures to stem the rising numbers of frail, vulnerable and elderly occupying hospital beds.

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