(2) whether any foundation trusts have deposits in Icelandic banks.
I refer the hon. Member to my written ministerial statement issued on 14 October 2008, Official Report, column 38-39WS.
We have been advised by the Chairman of Monitor (the statutory name of which is the Independent Regulator of NHS foundation trusts) that as at 31 March 2008 the aggregated cash balances and investments of 89 NHS foundation trusts (authorised as at 31 March 2008) amounted to £2.3 billion. The cash and investment balance is broken down as follows:
£ million Cash at commercial banks and in hand 256.6 Cash at Office of Paymaster General 1,636.8 Investments 374
Cash at commercial banks and in hand
Cash at Office of Paymaster General
National health service foundation trusts are autonomous organisations, free from central Government control. As high performing organisations, NHS Foundation Trusts have wide discretion to invest money. The boards of NHS Foundation Trusts are responsible for ensuring that surplus cash is invested in accordance with their duty to safeguard and properly account for the use of public money. Monitor, the independent regulator, has issued best practice guidance on how NHS Foundation Trusts should mange their cash. This guidance reflects prudent practice, and is designed to promote fiscal responsibility and prudent investments that do not compromise effective, efficient and economic delivery of services.