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Kensington and Chelsea Primary Care Trust

Volume 447: debated on Tuesday 20 June 2006

7. What representations she has received in respect of the management of Kensington and Chelsea primary care trust’s deficit. (78466)

Since March 2005, Health Ministers have received two letters in respect of the management of Kensington and Chelsea primary care trust’s deficit, both of which came from my hon. Friend. In addition, the chief executive of Kensington and Chelsea primary care trust met Sir Nigel Crisp, the former chief executive of the NHS, on 16 December 2005.

My hon. Friend is aware that Kensington and Chelsea PCT has an ambitious programme for recovering a deficit that is rooted—in this case—in past financial mismanagement under previous managers. My concern is that in addition to the underlying deficit the PCT is subject to the top-slicing that applies to all London PCTs. In the interests of transparency, and because that additional pressure is causing difficulty for social and mental health services, will my hon. Friend explain how much has been generated by top-slicing in London, where that fund is being held and when PCTs and others will have the opportunity to learn how that resource will be ploughed back to help authorities struggling with their deficit?

The strategic health authority was asked to come up with an appropriate plan for London, to deal with the overall situation, and it was felt right that Kensington and Chelsea contribute 3 per cent. of its budget to help tackle the deficit. My hon. Friend is right to say that the consequences of the contributions made by that PCT and others should be open and transparent. The SHA should make absolutely clear how much money it has received from the process, how it intends to spend the resources and the consequences for patient care throughout London. I urge her to engage in dialogue with the SHA about how that information can be put into the public domain as soon as possible.