Improvements in NHS finances23rd October 2007
The Audit Commission has published a report which reveals that 31% of NHS organisations are in debt, although financial performance has improved since the previous year.
The number of NHS organisations showing "inadequate performance" has shown a fall of 8% - from 39% in 2005/6 to 31% in 2006/7.
In addition, over three-quarters (77%) of NHS organisations were able to achieve financial balance by the end of the year in 2006/7. This number has risen by 10% since 2005/6.
Steve Bundred, chief executive of the Audit Commission, said: "The NHS is no longer in deficit."
"Managing money well goes hand-in-hand with providing better patient care. Trusts that fail to manage their money well are unlikely to be doing their best for patients."
He said the NHS needed to look closely at the small number of organisations that have shown a failure to manage their finances.
DoH figures show 22 organisations have predicted that they will not achieve financial balance in 2007/8 - a significant drop from the 81 which made the same prediction in 2006/7.
Although over a quarter of trusts and PCTs (27%) were marked as performing well or strongly on their use of resources, 8% of the organisations were given low marks for their use of resources and financial management.
A Department of Health spokeswoman said that although the figures were encouraging there was "room for further improvement."
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