• Proposed changes to market forces factor and specialist tariff for paediatrics could hit children’s hospitals
  • Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children FT among trusts facing significant loss of income under new tariff rules

Children’s trusts could lose up to £27m under new tariff proposals for 2019-20, senior NHS managers have revealed.

At a board meeting last week, senior managers at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children Foundation Trust said proposed changes to the market forces factor rate and specialist tariffs could reduce income at providers of paediatric services.

They estimated the total impact on organisations within the Children’s Hospital Alliance, which also includes Alder Hey Children’s FT, Sheffield Children’s FT, and Birmingham Women and Children’s FT, would be £27m.

The MFF entitles providers based in high cost areas to a premium of up to an additional 30 per cent on top of the normal tariff for procedures. 

NHS England’s proposals for 2019-20 would reduce this rate. Although the regulator has not yet made the total reductions public, it has sent estimates to each affected trust.

At his last board meeting as chief executive of Great Ormond Street last week, Peter Steer said the trust faced a “challenge from the changes” which “would have an unwelcome impact on our finances”.

Finance director Helen Jameson said the trust’s own modelling showed a “significantly” bigger impact than that predicted by NHS England.

HSJ understands at least one other London trust faces losing more than £20m in income as a result of the proposed changes.

NHS Improvement and NHS England are due to release further information to trusts this week so they can plan their finances for the 2019-20 financial year.

The proposed MFF changes seek to update the underlying data which is 10 years old.

GOSH has an annual turnover of £490m. In 2017-18, £57.3m of this was from private patients, and the trust’s most recent board papers said the organisation currently had more than £30m uncollected from international private patients.

This total and the agedness of the debt have increased over the past three months, but the trust is anticipating a large payment from the Kuwaiti government before the end of the calendar year.