2015-16 year-end update

Survive, strive or thrive?

The financial sustainability of England’s small hospitals

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Never before has there been as much focus on alleviating the NHS deficit.

15/16 year end figures from NHS Improvement show that the majority of NHS trusts are in the red and running at a combined deficit of £2.45b. This is £461m worse than planned, and almost triple the previous year’s £822m overspend. In small hospitals (those with a turnover of less than £200m) the deficit has more than doubled from -£114.6m to -£301.2m between 14/15 and 15/16.

At EY, we are committed to helping the NHS effectively support patients and the community. In undertaking this research, we hope to raise awareness amongst both small and larger hospitals that early intervention is key to ensuring resilience and sustainability.

95% of all small providers are running at a deficit

While all providers are struggling in the current climate of austerity, pressures are particularly hard for smaller acute providers (organisations with annual revenues under £200m). The NHS’s Provider sector’s overall deficit is £2.4b, and small providers make up 8% of total providers yet account for 12% of the deficit.

EY has conducted financial analysis of 20 small acute trusts in England, which shows how many of these are already reporting significant deficits, and that this situation is worsening.