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West Hertfordshire NHS Trust

Volume 454: debated on Wednesday 13 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment she has made of the financial situation of the West Hertfordshire NHS trust; and if she will make a statement. (106348)

The Department published the NHS financial performance for the second quarter of 2006-07 on the 9 November 2006. At quarter 2 West Hertfordshire hospitals national health service trust is forecasting a year end deficit of £11.5 million, this is an improvement of £6.5 million on their year end forecast reported at quarter 1.

In the minority of NHS organisations with deficits, the targets we have set, for example on waiting times and access to cancer treatment are being met. The overall quality of services to patients continues to improve. However, we do not underestimate the tough decisions needed by a minority of organisations to restore financial balance.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will conduct an inquiry into levels of debt within the West Hertfordshire NHS Trust. (106354)

The Audit Commission published in April 2006 a public interest report on the West Hertfordshire quadrant in the financial year 2005-06. The financial position of West Hertfordshire national health service trust was audited in this process and recommendations made.

Our performance and turnaround teams continue to work with the most challenged NHS organisationsto reduce deficits and return NHS organisations to financial balance.