DoH figures predict NHS will break even

More than a third of hospitals and PCTs are expecting to end 2006/7 in financial deficit. But the DoH is predicting that overall the NHS will break even by April, as promised by health secretary Patricia Hewitt.

Three-quarter-year forecasts show that the health service will finish £13 million in surplus overall, but this masks the increasing deficits hospitals and PCTs are predicting — up from £1.2 billion three months ago to £1.3 billion now.

PCTs are predicting a gross deficit of £793 million, which will be cut by the £54 million that other PCTs expect to save.

However, it is predominantly at SHA level that the NHS is expecting to recoup its major losses, because they predict a gross surplus of £687 million.

The report also confirms that there have been 1,446 compulsory redundancies in hospital trusts, PCTs and SHAs so far this financial year.

It concludes: ‘Where problems remain, these are being addressed by the SHAs and local management teams supported where necessary by turnaround experts. Although there remains no room for complacency, if the NHS continues with this improvement the system will be well-placed going into 2007/8.’

However, the BMA is concerned that many trusts are seeking to save money by cutting funding for training in particular.

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