FINANCE: The Royal Marsden Foundation Trust has said NHS tariffs means it faces an underlying loss of £12m a year.

The specialist cancer hospital said in its annual plan review: “NHS tariffs do not currently cover the cost of delivering services to NHS patients; with an underlying loss of approximately £12m. Portfolio analysis has identified those activities that make the most significant contribution to this position however scope to influence tariff in the medium term is limited.

“This is likely to mean that any efficiency programme must consider reduction in those services that consistently give rise to the most significant losses.”

The trust covers these losses with significant private income but added: “Demand for services to private patients has consistently exceeded the trust’s ability to accept referrals. Plans assume current private capacity will be extended into Wiltshaw ward at Chelsea from the end of 2012; with only modest capital refurbishment.

“Without new investment in hospital capacity any further increase in private capacity is likely to require a reduction in NHS capacity. Plans to do so will need to reflect the efficiency programme (particularly for length of stay and similar metrics) and any decommissioning of financially unviable activity.”