All national health service organisations should aim to achieve financial balance each and every year.
Strategic health authorities (SHAs) are responsible for delivering both overall financial balance for their local health communities, and ensuring that each and every body achieves financial balance. There is flexibility in how this objective is achieved. SHAs can agree a recovery plan for an organisation that phases the recovery of deficits over a number of years. However, for the NHS as a whole to balance, any overspending in one organisation must be matched by underspending elsewhere.