Manchester bucks the trend31st March 2006
The Greater Manchester Strategic Health Authority (SHA) has revealed that a deficit of £70m in 2002 has now been turned into a £40m surplus of unspent cash despite increases in the number of staff. The figures buck the national trend for the NHS.
Of the 27 trusts which run all types of health services across Greater Manchester only Trafford is in the red, forcing the closure of two in-patient wards at Altrincham General Hospital.
The £40m would be rolled forward and could be used to meet "unseen demands". Opposition politicians claimed they were being unnecessarily cautious and should spend the money on improving patient care.
Chief executive Dr Neil Goodwin said that they are one of the best performing health care regions in terms of financial management and are also recognised as the most improved in last year’s star ratings. He said it was "a great testament to the hard work being done by health care staff."
Dr Goodwin said that it has also meant that the Department of Health has had confidence to invest in new services, such as the Greater Manchester Surgical Centre in Trafford which is helping to cut waiting times for a range of conditions.
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