NHS trusts in deficit

Published: 19th Oct 2016

In brief


NHS Trusts are in the worst financial crisis of their history, according to NHS Providers, with 80% of acute hospitals in deficit, although the NHS was in surplus in 2010.


75% of acute hospitals are in deficit, according to the latest figures.

“NHS Trusts are in a financial crisis. According to NHS Providers, it seems to be the worst financial crisis in NHS history. 80% of acute hospitals now in deficit. There was a time in 2010, when the NHS was in surplus. What happened?”

Jeremy Corbyn, 19 October 2016

The latest figures show that 75% of acute trusts (hospitals) are in deficit.

In 2014 the regulator reported that 80% of acute trusts were in deficit. We’ve asked NHS Providers exactly where their figure comes from.

Acute trusts are only one type of NHS provider. Overall, 153 of the 238 providers of NHS services were in deficit at the end of June 2016. Two thirds of them were acute trusts.

Only 8% of NHS providers were in deficit back in 2009/10, according to the King’s Fund think tank. Since then increasing numbers of trusts have ended each year in deficit. The problem varies by sector though: mental health, specialist and community trusts have been in surplus over the past three years.

NHS Providers is a membership group for organisations that supply NHS services, like your local hospital. It has said that trusts are reporting “the largest deficit in NHS history”. Experts at the King’s Fund agree.

Correction 20 April 2017

We corrected a link in this piece so that it matched up with the text and showed the number of providers in deficit as of June 2016. The original link showed the number in deficit as of March 2016 (157).

This factcheck is part of a roundup of Prime Minister's Questions. Read the roundup.


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