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Home Industry News Committee ‘wants to investigate NHS deficits’

Committee ‘wants to investigate NHS deficits’

8th June 2006

Kevin Barron, a member of the House of Commons’ Health Select Committee, has said that it wishes to investigate why almost a third of NHS trusts have found themselves in financial difficulties, in spite of record spending from the government.

Yesterday, Patricia Hewitt, the health secretary, announced that the NHS budget deficit had grown to 512 million pounds but predicted that this would be balanced by March next year.

Mr Barron told BBC Radio Four’s PM programme, “I was listening to the BMA earlier today coming out with what would be, if it was true, problems in every NHS organisation up and down this country. We only have problems in three out of ten.

“That is enough in my view to start asking questions about why they are in a position to overspend when the other seven out of ten have improved patient care, employ more people and even pay those people they employ more.”

“If it was any one thing I think it would have been sorted out, but it is worrying given this Government has doubled expenditure in the NHS and by the 2008 we will have trebled expenditure in the NHS,” he concluded.

Yesterday the King’s Fund said that the health secretary’s figures masked the true scale of the financial problems facing the NHS. It stated that the gross deficit in the NHS had risen to 1.27 billion pounds because the figure of 512 million pounds was for net debt, which included surpluses from other parts of the health service.

Ms Hewitt has in the past remarked that the NHS deficits represent a very small part of the health service’s total budget and should be viewed in this context.

track© Adfero Ltd

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