A host of NHS trusts received bailouts totalling more than £1 billion in the last six years, a report from the National Audit Office (NAO) has shown.
The Department of Health was forced to issue four struggling foundation trusts and 17 other trusts the money between 2006 and 2012 to pay creditors and staff.
Amyas Morse, Head of the NAO, said that it was clear “parts of the service are under strain.”
Research found that South London Healthcare NHS Trust – which recently became the first to go into administration – needed a total of £356 from the DH to break even over the last six years. It is yet to pay back the money.
Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust also required £195 by the DH to cover its debts.
Last year, trusts needed £253m from the DH, the report found – a huge increase from the £76m requested between 2010 and 2011.
The NAO now estimates that NHS trusts and foundation trusts will need approximately £300m more in bailouts next year to cover ailing finances – despite a surplus of £2.1bn across the NHS.
Meanwhile, official figures from the Department of Health showed ten NHS hospital trust recorded deficits last year.
Mid Yorkshire Hospitals was £19m in the red, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare ended with a £6m deficit, Mid Essex Hospital Services Trust ended up with £2m debts and Newham University Trust recorded losses of £200,000.
Hospital trusts in the capital struggled to control finances more than any other part of the country with the region finishing £96m in the red overall.
Sir David Nicholson, NHS Chief Executive, said the “demands of an ageing population and increased costs owing to developments in drugs and advancing medical technologies present challenging financial conditions in a constrained economic environment.”
He added that “all parts of the NHS” will need to take “bold, long-term measures” to meet financial challenges.