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Enhanced services funding being used to pay old debts

I refer to the front page news report 'Trusts admit to enhanced funding fibs' (June 16)

It would appear that the monies for enhanced services are not being given to PCTs but are expected to come out of existing PCT funds.

This is ludicrous as most PCTs were set up with historical overspends inherited from the health authorities and not wiped off the slate by the Government. There has been no new money for development in primary care for several years as a result.

I am a professional executive committee GP for Waveney PCT. The letter from the Department of Health to PCTs said that Waveney should allocate £786,000 for enhanced services in this financial year. The Primary Care Directorate has therefore totted up all the services funded historically even as far back as seven years ago, and used them in their calculations sent to the strategic health authority. There is therefore no new money or any money at all to fund enhanced services as promised in the new contract enhanced services document.

Unless the Department of Health writes off old debts it is impossible for PCTs to move forward and develop services. I do not understand how the Health Minister can say there is so much investment in the NHS when we have not seen any in this area at all.

We are required to make savings to repay old debts and recurring shortfall of £6 million, by cutting services, particularly community services which are the only services that can be easily cut as they cannot pull money already promised to secondary care.

Dr Annette Abbott



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