The Foundation Trust Network has appealed to NHS England and Monitor to help healthcare providers cope with “unprecedented financial challenges” of 2015-16 by revising their next national tariff.
The representative group has drawn up a list of ten priorities which they say should be taken into account when designing next financial year’s payment and pricing system.
These include a proposal to scrap the marginal rate for emergency admissions and readmission penalties; parity of esteem for mental health and equal treatment for non-acute providers; and a rigorous impact assessment of all proposed changes.
Demands for increased efficiency, extra demands on service and the introduction of seven day services have combined to put their members under signficant pressure, the FTN argues.
Chris Hopson, its chief executive, said it was “right that providers should be expected to realise efficiency” but that current demands were unrealistic.
“Our members have done a fantastic job over the last three or four years to deliver the level of savings they have done”, he said. “[But] you’re not going to be able to carry on squeezing tariff prices without having an impact on patient care.”
He added: “We think we’ve come to the end of the period where you can expect providers to be making 4 per cent annual savings every year.”
The FTN’s list of priorities comes in response to NHS England and Monitor’s proposed methodology for the 2015-16 national tariff at the end of April.
A spokesman for NHS England said: “We welcome the FTN’s early input into the discussion on the 2015/16 National Payment System. NHS England and Monitor are currently seeking feedback on the development of the methodology that underpins the payment system. There will be further opportunities for everyone to engage with us and offer comment as the year progresses.”