On behalf of Monitor and NHS England, David Bennett and Simon Stevens have written to all providers of NHS services outlining interim arrangements for operating the NHS payment system, pending a final decision on the way forward on the national tariff for 2015-16.
A majority of NHS providers formally objected to the original tariff proposals and Monitor now has to decide whether to re-consult on a revised package or refer the matter to the Competition and Markets Authority. However this process is likely to take some time, and meanwhile we are keen to minimise the uncertainty the sector faces as all NHS organisations make key decisions about planning for the future.
Monitor has been working closely with NHS England to finalise a voluntary interim arrangement for 2015-16, and the letter sets out the details of the scheme. Under this, providers could choose whether to stick with the existing 2014-15 tariff or opt for an enhanced alternative for 2015-16 which is potentially worth £500m more to providers than the original package on which we consulted last year.
David Bennett, Chief Executive of Monitor, said:
We consulted NHS organisations and have listened to their responses. While we decide the way forward for the national tariff, our interim proposals for 2015 to 2016 seek to strike a fair balance between the funding needs of acute hospitals and other parts of the NHS.
This offer should give greater certainty and clarity for the whole NHS as it faces another financially challenging year, and ensure it continues to provide high-quality care for patients.