Debt mounts in Local NHS
Local health trusts amongst the country's most debt ridden
Official figures released this week show that the NHS has overspent by £500m with London's primary care trusts accounting for over 40% of this deficit, being some £212m in debt.
Some experts place the blame on the Governments failure to correctly account for the cost of new contracts for healthcare staff. GP’s contracts cost £300m more than expected and consultants’ contracts are £98m more expensive.
The British Medical Association (BMA) committee chairman, Paul Miller, accused the Government of ‘shocking incompetence’.
Hounslow Primary Care Trust (£10.6m in debt) and Hammersmith Hospitals Trust are amongst the most debt ridden across London. Such figures are bound to cause concern to local residents, as trusts already struggle to manage budgets. However the Hammersmith and Fulham Primary Care Trust has one of the biggest surpluse compared to its turnover in the UK. It is understood that this is not transferable to the Hospitals Trust.
Responding to these figures, Tony Arbour AM, London Assembly Conservative member for the South West of London, said' "residents .. have every right to be alarmed at these figures... Despite record spending levels across the NHS, ministerial incompetence has hampered the trusts ability to effectively manage their own budgets and to provide patients with the level of service they expect. If this situation isn't remedied then care will suffer, and healthcare jobs will disappear. ”
A further report into NHS Financial Management, jointly conducted by the Audit Office and National Audit Commission, will follow.
Deficits in Local PCTs and Hospital Trusts
June 8, 2006