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GPs faced with making cuts or inheriting deficits

By Ian Quinn

Exclusive: GPs face an unpalatable choice between agreeing to harmful cuts to patient care or inheriting deficits, Pulse’s A Clean Slate campaign can reveal.

Our investigation finds disturbing evidence that many PCTs’ prospects of avoiding multimillion debts are reliant on exhausting their entire contingencies reserves, finding massive new cutbacks in services and in many cases wishful thinking.

NSH Bury tops the list of dire financial forecasts, with a black hole of £37m in its funding, followed by NSH Haringey, with a £25m deficit.

NHS Harrow has already run up an £8m overspend this year and expects to double by April, warning it could be left unable to pay its creditors: ‘If support is not available the level of the PCT’s deficit is such that payments to creditors later in the year would be compromised.’

NHS Islington, officially forecasting a £9.3m surplus, admits: ‘The financial position required the application of all the contingency reserve and other balances to fund over-performance’ leaving ‘no further flexibility available to absorb any additional expenditure’.

It comes after GPs were warned they face being left with the NHS equivalent of Labour chief treasury secretary Liam Bryne’s infamous note to the new Government, warning ‘sorry, there’s no money left’.

NHS London chief executive Ruth Carnall told the London Health 2010 conference last week PCTs would need to be closed early, and budgets moved to GPs as soon as possible, as the only way to avoid handing the consortia mounting debts.

credit: John Morgan GPs faced with making cuts or inheriting deficits Click here to read more about our campaign A clean slate Join us

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