42% of managers say NHS finances 'worst they had ever experienced'

Policymakers must stop attacking and start valuing NHS managers to ensure the NHS reforms are properly implemented, the chief executive of the NHS Confederation is set to say.

Dr Farrar said the NHS should ignore the poll findings of the report at ‘its peril’ (Photograph: NHS Confederation)
Dr Farrar said the NHS should ignore the poll findings of the report at ‘its peril’ (Photograph: NHS Confederation)

Speaking at the annual NHS Confederation in Manchester later today, Mike Farrar is expected to issue a ‘wake-up call’ over the immediate financial pressures in the NHS.

He is expected to warn that the NHS may have lost 'considerable time' over the past 12 months as a result of the policy uncertainty and the 'drain of senior management'.

He will say: ‘The time has come to move away from a simplistic and crass management cost target with all the perverse incentives it entails. No one disagrees with the need to find efficiencies.

‘But an organisation the size of the NHS… needs a proper level of management to succeed.’

It comes as a NHS Confederation survey showed that 42% of NHS managers said the financial situation facing their organisation was the ‘worst they had ever experienced’, with 47% describing it as 'very serious'. The poll included 287 chairs and chief executives from 243 different organisations, including PCTs.

The poll also showed that 39% of managers were concerned that the financial pressure on their organisation would ‘increase significantly’ over the next three years.

The survey also showed that more than half of NHS managers are concerned that patient access to care will suffer over the next 12 months as a result of financial pressures in the NHS.

But 58% said patient clinical outcomes would improve, while 50% said patient safety would also improve.

Meanwhile, the survey showed that three-quarters of respondents felt that cuts of local authority spending would impact on their organisation’s surveys in the next 12 months. A total of 85% felt the impact of local authority cuts would be ‘problematic’.

Dr Farrar said the NHS should ignore the findings of the report at ‘its peril’.

He said: ‘This is the view of those that run the service, who will implement the reforms, and on whom the immediate future of the NHS depends.

‘The picture they paint is of pressure on money now and of pressure on money mounting down the line.’

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