Board Meeting in public of NHS England, 17th December 2015
NB The notes below are only items of particular interest – not a summary of the agenda.
1. Chief Executive’s report: Simon Stevens looked at the criteria outlined in his last report for assessment of the recent Spending Review. His request for a front-loaded long-term commitment had been met, with £3.8bn, of the five year £8.4bn, agreed as the NHS allocation for next year, also his request for long-term goals and acceptance that NHS needs cannot be met entirely by internal efficiencies, plus acknowledgement that prevention, public health and social care are vital factors in NHS success – although these factors are not yet in place.
2. NHS funding allocations for the next five years: This 28 page document, copied to Mervyn Stone, took up much of the meeting. Much of the document required detailed awareness of the current allocations. The CCG funding formula was at no point challenged, but it was agreed that next year no CCG will be more than 5% below its target allocation under that formula. There was also time spent on an analysis of current inequalities and the complexities of the specialist service allocation. This remains a highly complex aspect of the NHS, which the majority of lay people is unable to comprehend in detail.
3. New mandate to NHS England and the NHS in England: Today the Government publishes its new Mandate to NHS England, which is based on the Forward View and the Spending Review. It lays out long-term goals and 2016/17 deliverables as well as identifying areas for partnership action by NHS Improvement, Public Health England, Health Education England, Department of Health and NHS England. It aims to (i) Implement the Forward View, (ii) Restore financial balance across commissioners and providers and (iii) Deliver core standards for patient. Every health and care system will be asked to create a local blueprint to achieve those goals.
4. NHS Performance report: Data for October showed that 92.3% of A&E patients were admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours. There were 470,313 emergency admissions in that month, 2.1% more than in the same month last year. Ambulance performance data was little changed in comparison with last year. NHS 111 services had an average of almost 35,000 calls per day. Referral to Treatment Waiting Times was met for 92.3% of patients within 18 weeks but the total of patients waiting for treatment at the end of October was just over 3.3million. All cancer waiting time targets were met in October except for the 62 day standard.
All systems should have in place best practice actions to prepare for the coming winter and all have been required to submit winter capacity plans to cover:
- Acute beds
- Mortuary capacity
- Community care beds
- Intermediate care provision
- District nurses and community matrons
- Allied health professionals
- Mental health
7. Planning for Christmas, the New Year and early January: All systems have been reminded of their obligations and the need to have adequate plans in place.
8. Finance: At end of October the year’s expected expenditure was £101,333m, £35m above plan. A full year forecast shows a near breakeven position.
Next meeting: Thursday 28th January 2016, at Southside, Victoria Street, London