PracticeConsultingPublic sector – NHS deficits increase

Public sector - NHS deficits increase

More than one in three NHS trusts failed to meet 1996/1997 financial duties, helping to drive up deficits across the service by an alarming #288m in 12 months, according to the latest picture of financial management in the NHS.

Trusts are required to break even, earn a 6% rate of return and stay within external financing limits. But 148 of the 429 trusts failed on at least one of these targets in 1996/1997, National Audit Office chief Sir John Bourn revealed this week.

As a result, trusts reported a #50m deficit for 1996/1997, though their accumulated surplus over previous years was #307m. Health authorities recorded a #238m deficit, with #791m accumulated.

The Healthcare Financial Management Association put the blame on underfunding.

An NHS spokeswoman said problems may have arisen from a combination of funding and weak financial management.

She stressed, though, that the position had improved, with combined deficits cut from #459m in 1996/1997 to #171m last year, while the NHS Executive issued ‘firm guidance’ on meeting financial targets.

Bourn qualified one account – #1.5bn in funds held in trust – but said: ‘Auditors did not identify any actual losses.’

Related Articles

5 tips for SMEs to protect cash flow

Accounting Software 5 tips for SMEs to protect cash flow

5m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
Tyrie on Finance Bill 2017: ‘Making Tax Policy Better’

Consulting Tyrie on Finance Bill 2017: ‘Making Tax Policy Better’

11m Stephanie Wix, Writer
Managing partner Q&A - the year ahead: Richard Toone, CVR Global

Accounting Firms Managing partner Q&A - the year ahead: Richard Toone, CVR Global

12m Kevin Reed, Writer
Deloitte 'self-imposes exile' on government contracts to defuse PM row

Accounting Firms Deloitte 'self-imposes exile' on government contracts to defuse PM row

12m Kevin Reed, Writer
Managing partner Q&A - the year ahead: Julie Adams, Menzies

Accounting Firms Managing partner Q&A - the year ahead: Julie Adams, Menzies

12m Kevin Reed, Writer
Friday Afternoon Live: Deloitte's tech thing; PAC wants HMRC 'contingencies'; and Sports Direct

Business Regulation Friday Afternoon Live: Deloitte's tech thing; PAC wants HMRC 'contingencies'; and Sports Direct

1y Kevin Reed, Writer
Friday Afternoon Live: HMRC complaints rise; Deloitte scoops big audits; and corporate reporting woes

Audit Friday Afternoon Live: HMRC complaints rise; Deloitte scoops big audits; and corporate reporting woes

1y Kevin Reed, Writer
New head of equity capital markets for KPMG

Accounting Firms New head of equity capital markets for KPMG

1y Stephanie Wix, Writer