The UK Department of Health (DH) has announced a £1.8bn sustainability and transformation fund, which will give the National Health Service (NHS) the resources it needs as part of a five-year plan to sustain services.
The fund will also help to achieve a financial balance for challenged hospitals and will focus on changing the way they provide high quality care for patients.
It will also help fulfil the NHS’s plan for the future, which the government promised to fund at the election with an additional £10bn.
Nearly half of the £3.8bn funding increase for the NHS next year is enclosed in this fund, which is designed to help trusts reduce their deficits and allow them to focus on transforming services to deliver excellent care for patients.
The transformation fund, which will be allocated based on hospitals meeting a series of strict conditions, will give the NHS the time it needs to put transformation plans in place.
Health minister Jeremy Hunt said: "This government is committed to the values of the NHS, which is why we are investing £10bn in its own plan for the future, including £6bn upfront by next year.
"We are offering trusts help to improve their financial position and transform services for patients based on that planned investment, subject to strict conditions.
"This will allow hospitals to focus their efforts on making the NHS a truly seven day service, offering the same excellent world class care every day of the week."
The funding will allow NHS staff to focus on improving quality for patients.
‘Non-negotiable conditions’ set out by the Department of Health, NHS England and NHS Improvement include the agreement of a ‘strong and measurable recovery plan’ that shows how the trust will reduce deficits and breakeven within a reasonable timeframe.