Magazine article Public Finance

Overspending NHS Trusts Face Finance Hit Squads

Magazine article Public Finance

Overspending NHS Trusts Face Finance Hit Squads

Article excerpt

Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt has insisted that NHS trusts should delay operations rather than run further into deficit.

'Some hospitals would dearly love to get rid of all waits in the next six months but the funding is not there to do it,' she told the Commons health select committee. Some trusts are already reported to have slowed their waiting list work in order to save money.

Hewitt's defence of her robust policy on overspending came as the King's Fund warned that NHS deficits will continue to rise unless the government introduces a flexible financial regime with clear policies on when the Department of Health should intervene.

In a report published on December 7, the think-tank said that the new NHS market would magnify the deficits at some trusts. …

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