For activity within the scope of payment by results, national health service trusts are paid by their commissioners according to the national tariff. These payments are adjusted by the relevant market forces factors (MFF). The MFF is intended to reflect unavoidable variations in costs directly related to location.
The MFF is kept under constant review, and its development has been overseen by the advisory committee on resource allocation (ACRA). As part of its work for the Department, ACRA will review the MFF and make recommendations to Ministers in 2007-08.
The 2005-06 provisional outturn is the most recently published data on the national health service financial position. This data shows that provisionally the NHS reported a gross deficit of just under £1.3 billion, and a net deficit of £512 million. I intend to publish the first quarterly finance report for the NHS for 2006-07, on 11 August 2006.