NHS told to manage finances better2nd October 2008
A watchdog has found the NHS in England is continuing to improve the way it handles its finances.
However, after reviewing 302 trusts, the Audit Commission says it still feels that patients deserve better.
Of those surveyed, 282 were meeting minimum standards for balancing books, managing finances and getting value for money.
But a further 20 still had to improve, particularly the 12 found to be failing for the third year running which were deemed not to be achieving value for money or having effective management of their finances.
The 12 have been named as Barking, Havering and Redbridge Hospitals; Bromley Hospitals; Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust; Hounslow PCT; North West London Hospitals; Queen Elizabeth Hospital; Queen Mary's Sidcup; Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital; Trafford Healthcare; Scarborough and North East Yorkshire Health Care; Whipps Cross Hospital; and Worcestershire Mental Health Trust.
Overall, the Audit Commission felt that trusts had done well, particularly following the deficit problems of the past two years where a shortfall of £547m was transformed into a £1.7 billion surplus.
But chairman Michael O'Higgins added: "Pockets of real concern remain. Poor financial management can put service for patients at risk.
"Patients and the public deserve better from the poor performers and we should be seeing a lot more than only 14 performing strongly."
NHS finance director David Flory said: "It is vital that NHS organisations get financial management right. Taxpayers rightly expect the NHS to spend their money wisely.
"Sound financial management puts the service in a position to sustain and improve services for patients."
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Title: NHS told to manage finances better
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 8594
Date Added: 2nd Oct 2008