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Increased worries over NHS trust finances

Concerns are rising over NHS trusts’ financial stability, with over one third of reports emphasising cost-effectiveness issues for 2013-2014.

The Audit Commission reviewed last year’s accounts in more than 100 health bodies, highlighting timelines and improved reporting quality. There were issues noted, however, over effectiveness, efficiency, and economy in 38 per cent of trusts – an increase of a quarter over the previous financial year.

From the 98 mental health, community, ambulance, and acute trusts forced to undergo value arrangements conclusions, a total of 37 were deemed non-standard where issues were highlighted over security and use of resources – a 26 per cent increase on last year. Of 10 of the trusts, it was felt that there were no sufficient arrangements in place for assets. An additional 27 revealed at least one specific weakness with regards to resources.

Marcine Waterman, audit controller for the Audit Commission, said:

“This level of reporting is worrying and reflects the increasing risks to the financial sustainability of individual NHS trusts, as they continue to face sizeable financial pressures due to a rising demand for services and the necessary focus on quality of care, whilst balancing the need for continued cost savings.”

SMEs may not be under such a heavy microscope, and an accountant in the Wirral may not have to report details to such a degree as the NHS, but accurate records remain vital at all levels. Businesses need to ensure that they provide their accountant with as much financial information as possible if they wish to avoid such issues.

Posted by Peter
August 12, 2014

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