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Cuts to provider budgets for the second half of the financial year are not as swingeing as trusts first feared, it emerged this week.

The base, general efficiency requirement for trusts amounts to 0.82 per cent, which has been applied to trust block payments for H2, NHS planning guidance revealed yesterday.

This is an increase on the cut applied to block payments in H1 but falls short of the 1.5 per cent that NHSE had told trusts to use as a planning assumption in the summer while its nomenklatura continued budget negotiations with Treasury mandarins.

It will come as a relief to trust execs that their baseline requirement is lower than feared, although most trusts will have extra cuts applied to their funds for the coming six months.

Those in deficit or overspending against their block contracts will be expected to deliver more than the general requirement. On average, trusts will see a 1 per cent cut, top finance bod Julian Kelly told NHSE’s 30 September board meeting.

Distance learning

It might be shocking for some to hear from the leader in charge of the NHS’ long-term workforce needs that the NHS must learn from ‘resource poor’ countries when designing future health services.

For others, it might be a dose of reality; the NHS is struggling with perpetual workforce shortages, growing elective backlogs and unsustainable services.

HEE chief executive Navina Evans, speaking this week at the launch of the University College of London’s Global Business School for health, said the NHS must shift from a UK-centric way of thinking and instead envision a “genuinely global” workforce.

She was clear this global view should be about learning and said NHS England must learn from colleagues overseas who have improved healthcare quality while driving down costs.

“The way we deliver healthcare after this pandemic is going to be different,” Ms Evans stressed. “A lot of it [the pandemic] has been pretty awful, but there have also been opportunities to really learn and build on some really good work that has taken place in the last year and a half.”

It will be interesting to see how these views are reflected in HEE’s current work to review long-term strategic workforce trends.