Today, my Department is publishing the National Health Service financial report for the fourth quarter of 2006-07. This report shows that, on the basis of unaudited figures, the NHS as a whole is reporting a net surplus for the year of £510 million, having made very strong progress against each of the financial objectives we set for the financial year.
This is a remarkable transformation from the £547 million audited net deficit in 2005-06, and bears witness to the hard work of NHS staff right across the country in taking the tough decisions needed to deliver savings, increase the efficiency of working practices and reduce deficits, while maintaining patient care and continuing to reduce waiting times.
The introduction of a stronger, fairer and more transparent system, coupled with a renewed emphasis on performance management, has exposed many underlying financial problems in the system, allowing the NHS to end the 2006-07 year with its strongest financial results for many years, and providing a firm and sustainable financial position for 2007-08 and beyond.
The report has been placed in the Library and copies are available to hon. Members from the Vote Office.