This site is intended for health professionals only

Government has gone back on NHS surplus promise, says BMA

Doctors' leaders are accusing the government of reneging on apromise to use a predicted £1.8bn NHS surplus on patients and insteadplanning to carry it forward to next year.

The British MedicalAssociation (BMA) has pointed out that the Department of Health's newNHS Operating Framework for 2008/09 says surpluses delivered in 2007/08by strategic health authorities and PCTs should be carried to the nextfinancial year.

"Each SHA area should then plan for a surplus in 2008/09 at least equivalent to that total," says the recent publication The NHS in England: The Operating Framework for 2008-09.

TheBMA says: "The instruction comes just weeks after Health Secretary AlanJohnson pledged the excess money would be spent on tacklinghealthcare-associated infections and delivering faster treatment forpatients."

BMA central consultants and specialists committeejoint deputy chair Mark Porter said NHS staff had been assured the"pain" of achieving surpluses would result in greater serviceinvestment.

Mr Porter said: "Now the Operating Framework has been published, we discover the government is not delivering on that promise."

BMA News