NAO asked to investigate NHS ‘underspend’

Following a record surplus of £500m at the
NHS, the
Liberal Democrats have called on the
National Audit Office to investigate the reason for this underspend.

The record surplus was disclosed by
in an analysis of strategic health authority board papers

Norman Lamb, LibDem health spokesperson, issued the plea to the NAO after
Guardian analysis revealed that NHS trusts responsible for hospitals,
mental health, primary care and ambulance services ended the financial year in
March with £456.8m in spare cash that could have been used to provide extra

Patricia Hewitt, the health secretary, had threatened to resign if the NHS
made a deficit in 2006/7 after overspending by £547m in 2005/6.

Lamb said: ‘Everything was driven by her desire at all costs … to avoid
another deficit.’

Further reading:

NAO finds £100m-a-year drug wastage at NHS

Colin Gentile, FD of St George’s NHS trust

Xansa signs £19m NHS deal for accounting services

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