Health department financial plans ‘flawed’
It has delivered a withering attack on the department’s handling of NHS trust finances and what happens when a trust goes bankrupt.
“The Department of Health could not explain to us how it will deal with an NHS trust that goes bankrupt,” said committee chair Margaret Hodge. “Nor could it provide reassurance that financial problems would not damage the quality of care or equality of access to all citizens.”
She added that the department was unable to explain what would trigger a trust being placed into the Regime for Unsustainable NHS Providers or how the process will work in practice – despite South London Healthcare NHS Trust already having been put into this regime.
“It very much looks like the department is inventing rules and processes on the hoof rather than anticipating problems and establishing risk protocols,” Hodge concluded.
The report follows the first draft report of the Special Administrator into South London Healthcare NHS Trust, which was published yesterday.