The NHS Trust Development Authority will see its budget grow by two thirds in 2014-15, in the latest indication of the price tag attached to the Department of Health’s new focus on regulation.
The news comes a week after HSJ reported that the Care Quality Commission is planning for a 50 per cent increase in government funding next year, to pay for its intensive new inspections regime.
The TDA’s latest finance report states: “The indicative resource allocation to the NHS TDA for 2014-15 is £55,524,000, which is an increase of £22,024,000 since 2013-14, to fund the wider scope and breadth of oversight required following changes to the regulation of NHS Trusts and other in-year policy developments.”
A new fund of £1.2m has been allocated from the budget to go towards additional specialist teams.
A spokesman said these teams would deliver “bespoke support” to trusts with “specific challenges”. He added: “The challenges and developments over the last 12 months have shown us that in order to fully support Trusts we need to establish dedicated areas of support beyond our existing regional teams.
“So, for example, this will include a dedicated special measures team to support those Trusts in special measures.”
The area of mergers and acquisitions will receive more than double its previous funding, from £2.2m to £5m. The TDA spokesman said that the additional budget for mergers and acquisition will only be drawn down and accessed as required.
The programme budget - which goes towards supporting improvements in trusts - has more than doubled from £7m to £15.5m. The report states: “The programme budget has been increased to reflect the additional support that is required by NHS Trusts due to the increased financial and operational pressures, the more exacting scrutiny of quality and the increasing sustainability challenge.”
A spokesman said: “The challenges facing NHS Trusts have grown significantly over the last year, and more and more of the focus of the Trust Development Authority has been to deliver support and development to provider organisations, their Boards and their clinical and managerial leaders. The additional resources we have been able to secure reflects a real recognition of the importance of that offer and will give the TDA the opportunity to further enhance the work it does to support providers over the challenging period ahead.”
While the Department of Health has approved the TDA’s budget increase, CQC and Monitor have not yet had their 2014-15 allocations confirmed.
There is no indication yet of what budget Monitor is expecting. A Monitor spokesman said it was waiting for the DH to set the budget for next year and was unable to give further information at present.