Monitor, the foundation trust regulator, has revealed that the 89 foundation trusts authorised at 31 March 2008 generated surplus of £395m over the 2007–2008 financial year, compared with a £2.9m deficit the previous year.
Foundation trusts are allowed to retain their surpluses and spend them on their own priorities.
Howard Catton, RCN head of policy, development and implementation, said: ‘It is about making sure it is reinvested in frontline services.
‘If you look at two and a bit years ago and think about areas that were targeted as a result of the deficit situation that the NHS was facing, nursing posts were frozen, training and development was hit and the number of specialist nurses went down.
‘These areas should be a priority for consideration now that the NHS has more money.’
William Moyes, Monitor’s chairperson, urged the trusts to make efficiency savings. ‘My message would be to make pessimistic assumptions in order to be prepared for tough times ahead,’ he said.Click here to visit Monitor's website