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NHS trusts urged to improve financial performance

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Many NHS trusts must improve the handling of their finances, according to a new report published by the Audit Commission.

It found that 20 trusts were not meeting minimum standards for balancing the books and 12 of these had failed to do so for three consecutive years.

However, the report also concluded that although the NHS in general is improving the way it handles the money it is given by government it must to do more for patients who it said 'deserve better'.

Overall a previous £547m NHS deficit has been turned into £1.7 bn surplus this year however Audit Commission chairman Michael O'Higgins said that 'pockets of real concern remain. Poor financial management can put services for patients at risk.

'Patients and the public deserve better from the poor performers and we should be seeing a lot more,' he said.

Chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing Peter Carter welcomed the improvement in the NHS overall financial situation.

'This is a clear recognition of the hard work of nurses and all frontline NHS staff who have made wards more productive'.

However, he warned that trusts in surplus meant money was not spent on frontline staff and patient care.

'Every penny of the record £1.7 bn NHS surplus must be spent on enabling frontline staff to spend more time by the bedside caring for patients'.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Hey don't get me started. Just going to put on some soothing music before I go into my rant. I'm due to retire from my career as an NHS nurse in a few years. Having worked in management I had to give it up. I couldn't justify my existence. Rounds of endless meetings that achieved mostly nothing. I have seen the trust I work for change names at least 4 times if not more. All that headed paper binned every change, new logos painted on hospitals and ambulances, a big chunk of money not even being spent on the so called 'service user'. Times that across the country for every name change, phew what a scorcher

    A nurse chastised me once for using too many wipes to clean an incontinent patient. I bit my tongue hard and tried to smile sweetly.

    On average our car park is empty at the weekends, just a few frontline workers in to care for the patients, Monday to Friday its chock a block with admin staff. Not saying we don't need them but hey where's the balance there. It seems every shift I work is always one staff member short of the required number of nurses we would need to do the job properly. Maybe then we could sit and hold some hands at the bedside. Dream on.

    Managers must remember that without the patients we would all be out of a job. We're here for them, they're not here for us, or are they? Sometimes it makes me wonder.

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