Financial Sanctions

NHS England requires that commissioners must publish on their websites details of the financial sanctions due and actually applied to each of their major providers for failure to achieve national standards set out in their contracts. Commissioners are to publish their data on a quarterly basis.

The reporting must:

  • cover all of the national Operational Standards and the National Quality Requirements;
  • identify, for each of the above standards, by named provider, the value of the sanction applied by the commissioner;
  • indicate how the commissioner has spent, or intends to spend, the funding withheld from providers through the application of sanctions.

Operational Standards and National Quality Requirements are minimum levels of service that patients can expect to receive when being treated under the NHS.  

Operational Standards include:

  • 95% of people being treated, admitted or discharged when attending accident and emergency departments (A&E);
  • 92% of patients beginning their treatment within 18 weeks of referral and;
  • 93% of patients referred urgently with suspected cancer by a GP and waiting no more than two weeks for first outpatient appointment. 

National Quality Requirements include a zero tolerance of MRSA and all handovers between ambulance and A&E must take place within 15 minutes with none waiting more than 30 minutes.

Commissioners must report individually on sanctions for all their contracts. Values need only be reported where the sanction is more than £1,000 in the reporting period. Where a sanction is applied only annually, the position need only be reported annually.

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