England's £2.1bn NHS underspend

The NHS surplus for England in 2007/8 was £2.1 billion - four times the figure for the previous financial year.

The underspend is revealed by the Health Committee as part of its annual inquiry into expenditure on health and social services.

The number of full time-equivalent administrators employed by the NHS in England has increased from 131,859 in 1997 to 184,888 in 2007. The NHS National Programme for IT is expected to cost £12.7 billion.

The Health Committee's public expenditure questionnaire was completed by the DoH.

The evidence it contains will form the basis of the committee's questioning of David Nicholson, NHS chief executive, David Flory, director general of NHS finance, performance and operations, and permanent secretary Hugh Taylor in London this week.

A report by Audit Scotland last week revealed the NHS in Scotland underspent by £26 million in 2007/8.

neil.durham@haymarket.com

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