NHS finanial managers under strain


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Hilary Daniels, president of CIPFA and chief executive officer of the West Norfolk Primary Care Trust, told Accountancy Age that officials are yet to issue clear guidance on two key reforms – financial flows and patient choice – designed to introduce payments by results and an environment where money follows the patient.

‘We are waiting on guidance on how it will work and what patient choice constitutes,’ she said.

‘We’re not quite sure about the effects of the initiatives, so putting them back into service-level agreements is going to be quite taxing for people.’Daniels warned that the changes ‘present a risk’ to the health service’s financial organisation.

‘The risks are particularly [apparent] with patient choice. As finance people, we have to manage that risk,’ she said.

CIPFA is currently in talks with the health department in an attempt to get guidance on the implementation of the plans. But Daniels said: ‘We have no idea when guidance from the Department of Health will come.’

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