• HSJ analysis of NHS England data shows Barts Health Trust had largest increase in its specialised services income in 2015-16
  • University College London Hospitals Foundation Trust moves from fourth to ninth biggest specialised provider after cardiac transfer to Barts
  • No evidence of significant consolidation of specialised services in 2015-16

Barts Health Trust had the largest increase in its specialised services income in the country last year, according to HSJ analysis.

The London trust received a £55.5m cash terms increase in 2015-16 when it took over cardiac services previously provided by University College London Hospitals Foundation Trust.

According to data released by NHS England under the Freedom of Information Act, the transfer has resulted in Barts surging up the table of the health service’s biggest specialised services providers from eighth in 2014-15 to third in 2015-16. The trust received £371.6m in specialised funding last year.

A spokesman for Barts told HSJ the cardiac transfer had resulted in it receiving 20 per cent more patient transfers from other London hospitals than under previous arrangements.

UCLH meanwhile has moved from fourth to ninth largest specialist services provider because of the transfer.

A spokeswoman for the trust said that the “principal cause” for a £32.8m reduction in its income from NHS England was “due to the transfer of services from the Heart Hospital to Barts”, and without this the income received for specialised activity had increased in 2015-16.

England’s biggest provider of specialised services remains Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust, with specialised income of £423.8m in 2015-16, followed by Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital Foundation Trust, with income of £403.1m.

The top ten specialised services providers otherwise remains broadly similar to 2014-15, with the exception of University Hospitals Birmingham Foundation Trust, which moved from being the seventh largest provider in that year to fifth in 2015-16.

ProviderSpecialised services income 2015-16 (£m)
Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust 423.8
Guy’s & St Thomas’ Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 403.1
Barts Health NHS Trust  371.6
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 352.9
University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust 346.8
The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 343.1
Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 339.3
King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 317.3
University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 316.6
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 305.8

The 2015-16 spending figures indicate no significant consolidation of specialised services at the biggest trusts compared to the previous year. Last year the top ten providers accounted for 27.1 per cent of total specialised spend, compared to 27.7 per cent in 2014-15.

However, the acute trust with the smallest specialised services income was East Cheshire Trust, which received £3.4m and also experienced the biggest proportionate fall in its specialised services income – a 33 per cent drop from the £5.1m it received in 2014-15.

The organisation with the largest proportional increase in its specialised income was Cambridgeshire Community Services Trust, which saw its funding increase by 60 per cent from £2.8m in 2014-15 to £4.5m in 2015-16.

Mark Robbins, the trust’s finance director, said the increase reflected “indicative costs for HIV drugs” in two localities, after responsibility for prescribing the drugs transferred to the trust in 2015-16.

The trust with the largest share of specialised services funding as a proportion of its income was The Christie Foundation Trust, which derived 68.3 per cent of its turnover from specialised services.

The 2015-16 data, from NHS England, is based on outturn figures as reported in 2016-17 plan submissions. It may still be subject to further revisions.