PracticeAuditHospital audits plans come in for more criticism

Hospital audits plans come in for more criticism

The chairman of the Audit Commission has challenged the government's audit plans for new foundation hospitals saying they may not safeguard the public interest.

Link: Hospital audits questioned

In a letter to health secretary Alan Milburn, James Strachan highlighted his concerns over the need for ‘strong regulation’ of the foundation hospitals, whose accounts are currently being overseen by the commission.

He said that a private sector audit was ‘not the same as public sector audit of performance, of value for money and of governance.’

He added that accountability for the cash foundation hospitals spend should be as great as for the rest of the NHS.

Strachan’s response comes after MPs questioned the accountability of the foundation hospitals in the commons. Labour MP Glenda Jackson told Accountancy Age yesterday there was a ‘serious worry over the issue of accountability, not only on the subject of audit but also with regulation.

‘These trusts will no longer be accountable to MPs and therefore to the public,’ Jackson added.

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