‘Credit crunch’ could see government ‘raiding’ foundation trust surpluses

The Guardian newspaper last week ran a short article looking at How the financial crisis will affect the health service.

The ‘credit crunch’ is biting and is likely to squeeze public expenditure. Consequently, according to Professor Robert Harris at Monitor, “Foundation trusts need to budget for lower income streams.” He says that “Many are in a good position because they have made efficiency savings. They should try to insulate themselves by investing in a service they are good at to attract more custom in the future.”

Chris Ham, professor of health policy and management at Birmingham University, is concerned that the government may attempt to claw back surpluses that the government has encouraged them to build up for future investment in patient care. He advises boards to take “every possible step” to protect their surpluses, including spending them to avoid them being raided by Treasury.

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