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Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Strategic Health Authority

Volume 448: debated on Thursday 29 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will take steps to ensure that all the organisations within the Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire strategic health authority tackle their deficits within the timescale identified by the local operating framework. (79651)

The role of the Department is to ensure that strategic health authorities (SHAs) comply with the operating framework guidance published on 26 January 2006. Individual SHAs are responsible for the performance management of their national health service organisations and for ensuring that they achieve financial balance. The aim is for the NHS as a whole, is to have returned to financial balance by the end of 2006-07. In addition, we are aiming for all overspending organisations to have monthly balance of income and expenditure (run rate balance) by the end of 2006-07.

There will be some exceptional cases where an organisation cannot achieve run rate balance in 2006-07 without an undue impact on patient services.

However, where one organisation overspends, an organisation elsewhere in the system needs to underspend for the NHS as a whole to be in financial balance. It is important, therefore, that organisations return to financial balance as quickly as possible.