Department of Health group accounting manual 2017 to 2018

Mandatory annual reports and accounts guidance for DH group bodies.

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The Department of Health group accounting manual (GAM) includes mandatory accounting guidance for DH group bodies (including clinical commissioning groups, NHS trusts, NHS foundation trusts and arm’s length bodies) completing statutory annual reports and accounts for 2017 to 2018.

The GAM is approved by the HM Treasury Financial Reporting Advisory Board. It is based on the 2017 to 2018 Treasury financial reporting manual, adapted for the NHS.

There will be additional guidance updates to the GAM later in the year, which must be treated as having the same status as the GAM itself. The additional guidance will be contained in a single document, which will be updated as further issues arise.

Changes affecting the NHS

NHS Confederation has published What comes into force in April 2017?

This briefing summarises new measures, requirements and legislative changes coming into force this month that will affect NHS organisations, staff, patients and service users across England. It covers arm’s length bodies, charges, e-prescribing, finance, general practice, innovation, integration, personal health budgets, quality, reconfiguration and workforce.

NHS finances and consultant productivity

The Health Foundation has published A year of plenty? An analysis of NHS finances and consultant productivity.

This report analyses the finances of NHS providers and the consultant productivity of acute NHS hospitals, drawing on their annual accounts from 2009/10 to 2015/16 and links this to wider NHS data. It shows that NHS providers saw relatively little of the income growth for the NHS as a whole, and that productivity for consultants and the wider workforce in acute hospitals has been falling.

Understanding NHS financial pressures. How are they affecting patient care?

The Kings Fund has published ‘Understanding NHS financial pressures. How are they affecting patient care?’

Understnading NHS financial pressures

Image source: https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/

Financial pressures on the NHS are severe and show no sign of easing. However, we know relatively little about their impact on patient care.

This study sought to investigate the impact of financial pressures in four very different areas of the health service: genito-urinary medicine (GUM), district nursing, elective hip replacement and neonatal services. The research used data analysis and interviews to explore different experiences across the system.

The researchers found that GUM and district nursing services were under particular strain. Both access to services and quality of patient care have been affected in ways that are difficult to detect with currently available metrics.

Within elective hip replacement services, activity has increased in recent years and patients remain happy with the outcome of their operations, but the latest data shows that average waiting times for treatment are starting to rise. Neonatal services appear to have largely maintained quality and access despite a number of longstanding pressures, although there is variation between units.

The findings create a challenge to the direction of travel set out in the NHS five year forward view of strengthening community-based services and focusing on prevention.

Read more here

The impact of NHS financial pressures – a mixed picture

Recent figures reveal a provider deficit of nearly £900 million for the first three quarters of 2016/17 – a clear sign that NHS organisations are struggling in the face of constrained budgets and growing demand | Lillie Wenzel – The King’s Fund Blog

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As NHS organisations seek to manage current pressures, the number of media stories suggesting that tight health budgets are having a negative impact on patient care is increasing. But is this the whole picture?

For the NHS, the relationship between financial performance and quality of care is complex. Indeed, a recent Public Accounts Committee report recommended that the Department of Health and NHS England undertake work to better understand the association between the two. We know that the actions NHS organisations take when they are under financial pressure can affect patient care in a number of ways. We also know that patient care is affected by many factors besides funding, and that both national data and public attention tend to focus on care delivered within hospitals.

Our research, set out in Understanding NHS financial pressures, aimed to get beneath the top-level data and explore in more detail how patients are being affected by the financial pressures facing the NHS. We looked at four different service areas – genito-urinary medicine (GUM), district nursing, elective hip replacement and neonatal – to try to understand the impact in different parts of the system.

Read the full blog post here

NHS efficiency map

The Healthcare Financial Management Association and NHS improvement have updated the NHS efficiency map.

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This map promotes best practice in identifying, delivering and monitoring cost improvement programmes in the NHS.

It contains links to a range of tools and guidance to help NHS organisations improve their efficiency and includes sections on enablers for efficiency, provider efficiency and system efficiency.

Departmental Overview 2015-16: Department of Health

This Departmental Overview looks at the Department of Health (DH) and summarises its performance during the year ended March 2016 | NAO

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Image source: NAO

This guide is designed to provide a quick and accessible overview of the Department and focuses in particular on where we believe the Department’s performance could be improved, using examples from our published work.

It covers:

  • The department’s responsibilities and how it spends its money
  • Financial management
  • Reported performance
  • Issues identified in NAO reports

Read the full report here