Health authority's £50m mis-spend

MOUNTING losses across East Anglia means the region's strategic health authority (SHA) is likely to miss its target by £50million at the end of the financial year, it was revealed today.

MOUNTING losses across East Anglia means the region's strategic health authority (SHA) is likely to miss its target by £50million at the end of the financial year, it was revealed today

The East of England SHA had budgeted for a maximum overspend across all health trusts in the region of £125m for the financial year, ending in April.

However, current figures suggest the overspend could top £175m by the end of the year.

A spokeswoman for the authority today said she was confident this would not cause long-term problems.

She said: “The overall financial position across the East of England is a forecast overspend of £175m for 2006-07.

“The majority of NHS organisations in the East of England (26 out of 33) have achieved in-year balance; their financial positions are getting better, not worse, this year.

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“The SHA is supporting all NHS organisations in the area to improve their financial positions by being more productive and leading work on best practice for example, by encouraging the prescribing of generic rather than branded drugs where appropriate.”

The increased gap should not affect Ipswich Hospital which is working to eradicate its own debt.

Hospital spokeswoman Jan Rowsell said: “The trust has put in robust measures to deal with its deficit and they are working. We are predicting that will be able to significantly reduce our debts over the next few years.

“The position at the SHA should not affect that.”

Today's meeting, at Fulbourn Hospital, near Cambridge, was the first opportunity for the SHA to review its finances this year.

Weblink:

www.eoe.nhs.uk

n Is the cash squeeze affecting patient care? Are you worried about the overspend? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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