Only 14 pc of NHS Trusts give value for money

The National Health Service has tightened its grip on its finances, the Audit Commission said and is beginning to extract better value for money from its funding, but still has a long way to go.

Two years after the NHS in England recorded a £547m deficit, with local auditors highly critical of the level of financial control in many trusts, half of NHS organisations are performing well in their use of resources, the commission said.

But a mere 14 of the 300 NHS bodies surveyed achieved top scores in every category for the use of NHS money and some 20 – a significant minority of them in London – failed to reach minimum financial standards.

Improvements in the way the money is managed over the past year have been “impressive”, Michael O’Higgins, the Audit Commission chair, said. “However, pockets of real concern remain. Poor financial management can put services for patients at risk,” he added.

“The challenge . . . is to raise standards to those of the highest-performing organisations,” the commission said.

The analysis covers hospitals, primary care and ambulance trusts but excludes NHS Foundation Trusts, which tend to include better-performing organisations and whose finances are overseen by their regulator, Monitor.


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