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North Cheshire Hospitals Nhs Trust

Volume 404: debated on Tuesday 6 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) when Cheshire and Merseyside Strategic Health Authority were first informed of financial problems at North Cheshire Hospitals NHS Trust; and what action they took to address this; [110654](2) how many people were approached by Cheshire and Merseyside Strategic Health Authority to assist with financial problems of North Cheshire Hospitals NHS Trust; who they were; and on what basis they were selected. [110656]

[holding answers 1 May 2003]: Since April 2002, the board of the Cheshire and Merseyside Strategic Health Authority (SHA) has been concerned about the financial position of the North Cheshire Health community. A recovery plan was agreed in June, which, with brokerage from other communities, would have achieved financial balance in 2003–03.Despite intensive monitoring by the SHA, it remained concerned and in February asked the Audit Commission to retrospectively and prospectively review the plan's viability and assess the effectiveness of the corporate governance arrangements in the organisations within the North Cheshire Health Community.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions Cheshire and Merseyside Strategic Health Authority have had about the finances of North Cheshire Hospitals NHS Trust with (a) chairs of other NHS trusts and (b) others; and when the discussions took place. [110655]

[holding answer 1 May 2003]: All national health service trusts have statutory obligations for meeting specific financial duties, including the requirement to achieve financial balance. The Cheshire and Merseyside Strategic Health Authority has a range of arrangements in place for monitoring the financial position of local NHS organisations. It has held three formal performance accountability review meetings with senior representatives of the North Cheshire Health Community, which includes the North Cheshire Hospitals Trust.