Big Four step in to turn around NHS finances

Lucrative NHS turnaround work has been picked up by the Big Four, as the
health service’s financial crisis lurches deeper into the red.

With KPMG completing the last of 98 assessments of financially struggling NHS
and primary care trusts, the Department of Health revealed that further work on
the trusts would probably be split between the Big Four, with little sign of
smaller firms picking up any support contracts.

The forecast £620m deficit for the end of January leapt to £790m, which has
increased pressure on NHS chief executive Sir Nigel Crisp to step down. Sir
Nigel had called for a £200m reduction in the overspend.

A DoH spokesman said immediate turnaround work had been undertaken on 18 of
the trusts. Another 23 trusts have been highlighted in a recent report by DoH
finance director Richard Douglas as requiring further support.

Tenon government and public services director Adrian Rutter said the trusts
would want to be seen to bring in a firm viewed as a ‘big player’.

PKF, Smith & Williamson and Begbies Traynor confirmed they had not been
approached to apply for turnaround support tenders.

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