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Audit Commission reports on NHS Financial Year

The Audit Commission has released its report on the NHS Financial Year 2010/11, which summarises the audit of the 2010/11 accounts for strategic health authorities, NHS Trusts and PCTs. The report also looks at the auditors’ conclusion on the ‘value for money’ arrangements that are in place in each organisation and the progress made by NHS Trusts and PCTs with regard to progress made in delivering their  ‘cost improvement programmes.’


The summary of the report states that the auditors focused on the following:

• Whether the organisation  has proper arrangements in place for securing financial resilience; and
• Whether the organisation has proper arrangements for challenging how it secures economy, efficiency and effectiveness.
The report found that, overall, the financial performance of most health bodies was good. It also showed:

• NHS organisations delivered a surplus of £1.5 billion;
• Of 276 organisations, all except nine balanced their books;
• Some NHS organisations required financial assistance to balance their books;
• Almost a quarter of NHS trusts (27) and 12 per cent of PCTs (18) received qualified VFM conclusions; and
• All PCTs, NHS trusts and SHAs submitted their draft accounts to the Department Health and auditors on time, and there were no qualified true and fair opinions.

Despite some positive signs, the report warns that 2011/12 will be a more challenging year.
[quote top=It states] In 2010/11 PCTs received average funding growth of 5.5 per cent. In 2011/12 average growth in recurrent cash allocations for PCTs is 2.2 per cent. Organisations that have, up to now, managed their finances well will find financial pressure increasing. They will need to continue to deliver high-quality services, without the funding growth of the recent past.[/quote]


The call is for ‘strong leadership’ and ‘determined effort’ over the next four years, in order to achieve further efficiency savings to cover the transition period from the current NHS structure to the new structure.