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Health Service Budgets

Volume 447: debated on Thursday 8 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what requirement there is for (a) primary care trusts and (b) hospital trusts to balance their annual budget in the 2006-07 financial year; what exceptions she has allowed to this requirement; and if she will make a statement. (74263)

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.