£825million of NHS debt to be written off in South West

PUBLISHED: 16:30 19 April 2020 | UPDATED: 16:31 24 April 2020

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More than £13billion of NHS debt has been written off as part of a wider package of NHS reforms announced by the Health Secretary.

This includes more than £825million of debt in the South West, across 13 NHS trusts.

As of April 1, more than 100 NHS hospitals were rid of historic debt, freeing them up to invest in maintaining vital services and longer-term infrastructure improvements.

It comes alongside new NHS funding model to make sure the NHS has the necessary funding and support to respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

This is part of a package of major reforms to the NHS financial system, designed in a collaboration between the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England, which will begin from the start of the new financial year.

The changes will provide much needed financial support during this unprecedented viral pandemic, as well as laying secure foundations for the longer-term commitments set out last year to support the NHS to become more financially sustainable.

This significant change will mean hospitals will get all the necessary funding to carry out their emergency response, despite many hospitals cancelling or limiting their usual services such as elective surgery or walk-in clinics due to the virus.

Simon Jupp, MP for East Devon, said: “This is great news for the NHS in Devon and provides an opportunity to focus on the future without having to worry about the past.

“I will continue to work closely with our superb NHS as they tackle the virus today and provide first class healthcare for all of us into the future.”

Health Secretary Matt Hancock added: “As we tackle this crisis, nobody in our health service should be distracted by their hospital’s past finances.

“The £13.4 billion debt write off will wipe the slate clean and allow NHS hospitals to plan for the future and invest in vital services.

“I remain committed to providing the NHS with whatever it needs to tackle coronavirus, and the changes to the funding model will give the NHS immediate financial certainty to plan and deliver their emergency response.”

107 trusts have an average of £100 million revenue debt each, with the 2 trusts with the highest debts reaching a combined total of over £1 billion.

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