Financial figures to the end of Quarter 4 for 2017/18 report a £960m deficit, however, the true underlying deficit is likely to be in the region of £4bn.
Commenting on NHS financial figures to the end of Quarter 4 for 2017/18, Nuffield Trust Senior Policy Analyst Sally Gainsbury said:
“We must remember that the reported figures published today are very much window dressing. Our analysis suggests that the true, underlying figure is much, much worse as the NHS has had to patch up its finances with a series of one-off savings and emergency extra cash.
“Today’s report reveals that the £960m reported deficit figure is arrived at after around £850m of one-off savings – even higher than last year  – as well as the non-recurrent £1.8bn Sustainability and Transformation Fund. Taking these into account, along with other short-term fixes, the true underlying deficit is likely to be in the region of £4bn – similar to our own projections .
“This hand-to-mouth existence is not a sustainable way to run complex and vital institutions like hospitals.”