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Trust Deficits

Volume 450: debated on Thursday 26 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for St. Ives (Andrew George) of 4 September 2006, Official Report, columns 2177-78W, on Trust deficits, when her Department’s chief economic adviser was commissioned to undertake detailed analysis of the causes of NHS deficits; which individuals and organisations are supporting the analysis; when she expects the analysis to be completed; whether she has drawn any interim conclusions from the analysis completed thus far; and if she will publish the analysis when complete. (91800)

In his report on the financial position of the national health service at provisional outturn, 2005-06, published in June 2006 the Director General of Finance and Investment gave notice of his intention to ask the Department’s Chief Economic Adviser to undertake further detailed analysis of the causes of deficits. The terms of reference for this work were finalized during the summer.

The Chief Economic Adviser is working with economists and finance professionals within the Department of Health, the Health and Social Care Information Centre, the Centre of Health Economics at the University of York, and various NHS stakeholders (including PCTs and NHS trusts) to complete this analysis. We expect the work to be completed in the autumn. The Department will publish the findings of this study in due course.

Independent Government auditors agree with our assessment that there is no single, simple cause of deficits, just as there are no single, simple solutions for eradicating them.