Positive year ending for health bosses

SUFFOLK health bosses today gave themselves a pat on the back after a positive report from the East of England Strategic Health Authority (SHA).

HEALTH bosses today gave themselves a pat on the back after a positive report from the East of England Strategic Health Authority (SHA).

A verdict from the SHA after an independent assessment of the Suffolk Primary Care Trust (PCT) was that it had made “excellent progress” during the past year.

However, financial concerns are still apparent with the PCT £30.9million in debt.

The independent assessment was part of a national exercise commissioned by the Department of Health to check the fitness for purpose of PCTs.

It involved in-depth written assessments and a series of investigative interviews to probe the PCT's performance in strategy, finance and governance.

Tony Robinson is chairman of Suffolk PCT but is leaving this month and will be replaced by Alistair McWhirter, currently Suffolk police's chief constable.

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Mr Robinson said: “The PCT can be justly proud of this achievement.

“All of the staff and the board have worked extremely hard to establish the new organisation and at the same time continue to deliver quality services and make changes to improve health and healthcare in Suffolk in the future.”

Dr Paul Watson, director of commissioning for the east of England praised the PCTs approach to planning for 2007/08 and its ambition to establish Suffolk as one of the top performing NHS areas in the country.

However, the report said it was still concerned about the outstanding debt and is looking for faster repayments.

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