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Nurses 'should control purse strings'

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Nurses and other clinicians must be given greater power over financial decision being taken within NHS Trusts, the Audit Commission has said

In a report published this week the commission said failure to consult clinicians was at the heart of the health service’s financial management problems. It also criticised finance departments’ lack of understanding of clinical services.

Steve Bundred, chief executive of the Audit Commission, said: ‘This is about giving power and responsibility to those in the very front line. Most NHS money is spent by doctors and other clinical staff. It is they, rather than finance managers, who are best placed to identify how funds can best be used to improve the quality and efficiency of services.

‘Where there is an ongoing lack of trust, respect and mutual understanding between clinical and finance staff, decision making can be poor and progress very slow,’ he added.

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