HSJ senior correspondent Sarah Calkin explains NHS England’s specialised commissioning overspend

NHS England was set to blow its budget for specialised services by at least £450m in 2013-14, largely due to “predictable” overspends at acute hospitals.

The NHS was made responsible of commissioning specialised services under the Health and Social Care Act 2012. It was one of the more popular changes made.

In 2013-14 the NHS predicted it would spend £11.9bn but by December – the ninth month in the financial year – it predicted it would spend £12.76bn largely due to “predictable” overspends at acute hospitals, revealed in the latest NHS England data obtained by HSJ under the Freedom of Information Act.