Waiting Lists and NHS Planning Guidance

 Those who have read NHS England’s newly released guidance on planning from 14/15 to 18/19 could be forgiven for fixating on the £30 Billion spending gap. And it’s not just a CCG concern. The document makes it clear that provider involvement is mandatory. The view being that a challenge on this scale can only be solved by working together.

Projected resource vs Projected spending

A big change in the planning process is its time horizon. Traditionally 1 year, this has been extended to a 2 year detailed plan and a 5 year strategic plan. NHS England believes that there is lots of room for transformational changes in service provision so this is encouraged and expected. A 20% productivity improvement is expected over the 5 year horizon.

The largest new initiative is the better care fund, which aims to move £1.9 Billion of NHS funds into social care and in return move patients out of the NHS faster.

Although waiting time targets get little mention in the core text the full set of waiting time targets and associated penalties are still in place. NHS England have made the 14/15 contract tougher in relation to penalties and also made it clear that they must be enforced. Side deals between CCGs and providers will be frowned upon.

First plans must be submitted by 14th February.

For further information see:

http://www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/sop/

http://www.monitor-nhsft.gov.uk/APR1415guidance.