HSJ’s round-up of the day’s must read stories and analysis

Breaking into the housing bubble

Trusts could use housing developments to tap into tens of millions of pounds in new income, after a West Midlands trust set a new legal precedent.

Stratford Hospital, run by South Warwickshire Foundation Trust, opened its doors on Monday as the first major acute facility with new services supported by revenue from property developers.

The trust has amassed £2m so far, with £11m in the pipeline, by applying for “section 106” contributions on new housing projects to meet a projected revenue gap created by increased service demand from new residents in their first year of moving in. The money has gone towards running wards at the £22m new hospital, including a cancer unit, eye unit and community facilities.

Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 has historically been used to force developers to help pay for new schools, roads and primary care necessary to support the larger population generated by the development.

South Warwickshire is the first trust known to attempt to seek to impose section 106 payments for acute or community services. Development director Jayne Blacklay, who led the section 106 application, said any trust could push for payments. HSJ understands at least five other trusts are looking at making similar claims on new developments.

Leenamari Aantaa-Collier, a specialist planning lawyer who worked with South Warwickshire and is helping other trusts, said the revenue implications for the whole NHS could be “massive”.

“There is a lot of potential to work with local councils to make this work. It is labour intensive at the start but once you have a system in place it’s quite easy,” she told us.

Vanguards look to the future

National vanguards believe they can reduce emergency admissions by almost 3 per cent over the next four years, an HSJ analysis of their forecasts shows.

The activity forecasts of 15 vanguard sites show an aggregate reduction of 2.9 per cent between 2016-17 and 2020-21.

Financial forecasts show this group hopes to save a total £107m as a result of avoided emergency admissions between 2017-18 and 2020-21.

HSJ analysed the activity figures for: five multispecialty community providers; four primary and acute care systems; four care home vanguards; and two acute care collaborations.

Emergency admissions is the only acute activity which is forecast to reduce. The plans state that accident and emergency attendances will grow by 4 per cent over the period – still a significant slowing from current national trend. Greater growth is expected in outpatient appointments and elective admissions.