MPs slate NHS for ignoring auditors

MPs slate NHS for ignoring auditors

NHS finance directors and management have 'disregarded' auditors' opinions on accounting policies, MPs claimed during a stormy Public Accounts Committee meeting this week

During a two-hour grilling of new NHS chief executive David Nicholson and FD
Richard Douglas, MPs said that trust boards and FDs ignored auditors and
accounting rules, with inappropriate adjustments or omissions in the accounts of
125 trusts – a fifth of the total.

‘Directors of finance disregarded auditors’ views, despite clear rules,’ said
Richard Bacon MP.

Douglas admitted there was often disagreement between FDs and auditors. ‘When
draft [accounts appear] there may be issues where directors see it differently
to auditors,’ he said.

Greg Clark MP also highlighted the concerns of 59% of
NHS auditors over the financial
standing of trusts in 2005/06.

Nicholson said this year’s targets would be met, with deficits reduced, and
trusts as a whole meeting financial parity. Douglas added that NHS boards would
receive further financial training.

View the report into NHS financial management
here

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