Feeds

NPfIT delays plunge NHS trusts into the red

Financial health prognosis 'poor'

Seven Steps to Software Security

Delays in the implementation of the National Programme for IT (NPfIT) have helped plunge some NHS trusts into the red, the public accounts committee report has revealed.

The Financial Management in the NHS report says 14 trusts are still waiting for "contributions to costs incurred" as a result of delays to the programme from the Department of Health (DoH).

The trusts have not been named in the report.

The DoH reported to the committee that information on how much has been claimed by each trust is not available. This is because requests include a mixture of one off costs, ongoing costs, alternative interim solutions, and unspecified amounts.

Although the failure to pay the trusts has contributed to NHS trust deficit, there is no "single cause", the report says.

A number of NHS bodies reported that they experienced cost pressures arising from the need to meet performance targets and to implement national initiatives.

In particular, the Agenda for Change pay initiative, the consultant contract, and the new General Medical Services contract has caused the NHS to be stretched financially, the report says.

The cost of implementing Agenda for Change was £220m more than expected in 2005-06.

Edward Leigh, chair of the commitee, says: "NHS bodies running hefty deficits. And the cumulative deficit for all NHS trusts at the end of March 2006 had soared to over £1bn. On these measures, the prognosis for the financial health of the service is poor.

"The transparency of the NHS financial reporting regime must be improved further to prevent deficits being hidden and to make sure the regime is being applied consistently to all bodies.

"Without this kind of transparency, there can be no spur to improve the standard of financial management in all NHS bodies. There is no excuse for clinicians to distance themselves from money matters as if the quality of healthcare delivered by an organisation has nothing to do with whether it has to dig itself out of a deficit."

The NHS budget for 2004-05 was £69.7bn, rising to £76.4bn in 2005-06 and will be £92.6bn in 2007-08. The NHS reported an overall deficit of £251m (including foundation trusts) in 2004-05. In 2005-06, the overall deficit increased to £570m (£547m excluding foundation trusts).

There was an increase in both the number of NHS organisations - strategic health authorities, primary care trusts, NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts - reporting a deficit (up from 168 to 190).

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

Kablenet's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.