NHS surplus could mean patients are losing out on services, MPs warn

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 22 May 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b2082
  1. Adrian O’Dowd

    Patients could be missing out on crucial health care, the cost of which has already been financially allocated, because NHS organisations are trying to make a surplus in their finances, MPs have said.

    Surpluses for the NHS are good but can leave money “sitting unspent in bank accounts” rather than being used to treat patients, said a report published this week by the parliamentary committee for public accounts.

    The report details how the Department of Health and the NHS achieved a surplus of £1.67bn (€1.9bn; $2.6bn) in 2007-8, the equivalent of about one week’s funding for the whole NHS.

    The surplus was considerably …

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