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PCTs pay for deficit help

The nine PCTs identified by the Government as being in the biggest financial trouble may have to foot the bill for 'turnaround teams' sent in to help make cutbacks.

Pulse understands the cost of the turnaround teams, brought in from across the NHS and the private sector, could run to hundreds of thousands of pounds each.

The NHS Alliance and two of the PCTs involved said they had been led to believe by the

Department of Health that trusts would have to pick up the cost.

The department could only state that it would 'make a contribution' but the final details of 'who pays for what' were still being worked out. A source at one NHS organisation likened the plan to 'an execution where the condemned man has to pay for the bullet that is going to kill him'.

Daily rates charged by accountants undertaking the work could be as high as £3,000, the source added.

Dr Brian McGregor, a GP in Acomb, which is covered by

Selby and York PCT, said the plan was 'ludicrous'.

He said: 'It's almost like loan sharks. Services that are already being hard pressed are going to be reduced even further.'

Dr Gill Morgan, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said it was 'not viable' for the trusts affected to pay off their debt in 18 months without cutting services.

Where turnaround teams will be

· Cheshire West

· Hillingdon

· Kennet and North Wiltshire

· North Sheffield

· Selby and York

· Sheffield South West

· Sheffield West

· South East Sheffield

· West Wiltshire

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