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Heanor Hospital (Amenities Fund)

Volume 462: debated on Thursday 3 March 1949

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8.

asked the Minister of Health on what authority the auditors of the Heanor Hospital accounts demand to audit the accounts of a local amenities fund which is promoted by an outside body and maintained wholly by voluntary contributions, the hospital being only one of the beneficiaries; and if he will make it clear to all would be contributors that these voluntary funds form no part of the financial structure for the maintenance of the hospital service.

The funds of the local amenities committee included sums received by the hospital management committee. As these sums are held on trust by the hospital management committee it was the duty of my auditor to see that they were properly brought to account. When gifts are made direct to the amenities fund, the auditor is not concerned.

Could my right hon. Friend say whether there is an obligation on the part of his auditors to audit accounts which are no concern of the Ministry? I appreciate what my right hon. Friend says in his answer, that the allocations which go to the Ministry ought to be audited, but not the other funds.

These funds are entrusted to the local hospital management committees and, therefore, ought to be audited. Surely there can be no objection to an audit?

No, but these are independent funds created by bodies altogether outside the hospital.

But the only interest is where the funds that are collected by an amenities committee are handed over to a hospital management committee. In such a case the funds, should be audited, and I can see no objection whatever to a proper audit of accounts.

But the Minister must be under a misapprehension. This is a separate fund, of which the hospital is only one of the beneficiaries.

I think my hon. Friend had better read my reply, and then he will see that the point is covered. It is only in respect of the fact that amenities funds are entrusted to a hospital management committee that the question of audit arises.