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NHS on “sustainable financial footing”

30 August 2007

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The NHS is forecasting a financial surplus for this financial year and most NHS trusts have balanced their books, Department of Health figures show.

The new quarterly report published today forecasts the financial position of the NHS based on the first three months of the year.

Health Secretary Alan Johnson says the NHS is “becoming more efficient freeing up resources to be spent on the major concerns of patients like tackling hospital bugs and improving access to local doctors.”

He adds that the NHS has made changes that “are driven by the need to save lives, not money.”

The NHS forecasts a surplus of £963m at the end of this year, larger than the £510 surplus at the end of 2006.

Since last year the number of NHS trusts in deficit is predicted to reduce by three quarters.

Chief Executive of the NHS David Nicholson says the NHS should always plan for a surplus, and this is good for both management and patients.

“A surplus allows flexibility and headroom for organizations to plan for the long term, invest in new services before closing existing ones, and respond to unexpected in-year pressure such as new drugs,” he says.

Local NHS staff have successfully turned the position around from one of overall deficit to a forecast surplus, created through increased efficiency and productivity and through greater financial discipline and rigour in the system.”

Department of Health