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NHS: Finance

Volume 504: debated on Thursday 21 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) which NHS charities which have NHS bodies as corporate trustees have submitted requests to change to independent trustees in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement; (311760)

(2) which NHS charities will be required to consolidate their funds into the accounts of the relevant NHS body under the new International Accounting Standard 27 being introduced in April 2010; and if he will make a statement.

Three national health service bodies submitted a request to appoint independent trustees. Two have since indicated that they do not want to proceed at this stage.

It is not possible to identify individual NHS charities that will be required to consolidate their accounts into those of their relevant NHS body under the new International Accounting Standard 27 in April 2010, as application of the accounting standard will be determined locally taking into account the materiality of charitable funds. Our best estimate is that this may be around 30, which amounts to around 10 per cent. of those who are currently governed by a corporate trustee.

However, we are continuing to work with the Treasury, the Charity Commission and other stakeholders to seek ways to strengthen the independent governance of NHS charities to enable us to meet the standard without invoking the requirement for consolidation.

Although accounts may be consolidated for reporting, the charity’s funds would remain wholly independent from NHS budgets.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the additional cost to the NHS arising from incidents attributable to weather conditions in January 2010. (311773)

This is a matter for the local national health service. The NHS, as part of its planning process, ensures operational challenges, such as adverse weather are factored into local contingency plans, including the cost of treating patients.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to the pre-Budget report, which budgetary headings of NHS spending will comprise (a) the 95 per cent. of NHS frontline spending due to rise in line with inflation and (b) the 5 per cent. that will not. (311995)

National health service frontline spending is defined as 95 per cent. of the NHS near-cash expenditure limit in 2010-11. This covers all NHS spending that supports patient care.

The remaining 5 per cent. covers a large number of budgets that do not directly contribute to patient care in the NHS including areas like consultancy and administrative budgets for the Department, arm’s length bodies and strategic health authorities.

Full details will be set out in the next spending review.