Thursday, 22 March 2007

NHS Numbers are 300% Wrong

One of my local hospitals has been under the threat of closure with a £30 million financial deficit. I've been supporting the campaign to save this hospital since last September here. Now it appears that it paid the government £19.1 million pounds for "payment by results" when the actual sum should have been only £5.6 million. i.e. the accounts were out by over 300%.

I know that NHS accounts are hopelessly complicated by how, how, how can they be out by over 3 times?

The Government is generously returning £9 million but another £4.5 million is lost for ever into the dark hole of NHS budgets.

The people who suffer are the doctors, nurses and other staff who have lived with the threat of closure for months and ultimately the patients. To cap it all this is being spun as "good news".

1 comment:

TomTom said...

Show me a Deficit or a Surplus in the NHS and I shall show you an Accounting System.

NHS Accounting is not particularly illuminating, then again even in the private sector the biggest losses are made just before redundancies are announced simply because the redundancy costs have been reserved against declared profits already.

The NHS problems have more to do with internal transfers between budget holders than anything else, and Govt mandated IT and PFI stunts with bid costs underwritten by the NHS. There is also the little matter of the "Capital levy" introduced by Thatcher whereby a hospital must repay 3-6% revenues to the Treasury as a "capital charge" to simulate some notion of private sector

It is also good that they don't use the EU Trick on the NHS. We pay Gross to the EU but are always quoted a Net Contribution as a lower figure.

If we did the same to the NHs and netted off from the NHS Budget - Income Taxes, NIC, VAT, Business Rates paid by the NHS and its staff we could get a NEt Cost of the NHS to the taxpayer along the lines of EU Accounting