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NHS needs failure regime

29th July 2006

05062006_healthreport1Q.jpgThe body which ensures public money is spent wisely has urged health secretary, Patricia Hewitt, to introduce a ‘failure-regime’ to the NHS so that financial problems can be spotted and tackled early.

The Audit Commission has recommended a series of accounting changes to enable NHS organisations to stabilise their finances.

As a growing number of NHS trusts report increasing deficits, the commission has also recommended that working capital and investment should come from a more formal NHS bank and that the health department should create a "buffer fund" allowing it to keep the overall system in financial balance.

The report also suggests that in a few "exceptional cases" part of the historic, accumulated deficits some trusts faced might need to be written off in order to give them a fighting chance of survival.

 

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