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Local PCTs to control more of the NHS budget

Primary care trusts are to receive £4bn more funding this year to tackle infection and reduce health inequalities than last year, Health Secretary Alan Johnson has announced.

Alongside this budget, the Department of Health will be allocating a further £1.7bn of central budgets for PCTs.

Health Secretary Alan Johnson said: "Local PCTs now control more of the NHS budget than ever before, giving organisations the freedom and flexibity to spend according to the needs of local people.

"Today's announcement builds on the massive investment in the NHS in recent years. We want the NHS to use these extra resources to concentrate on the key priorities set out in the Operating Framework, such as tackling infection, increasing access and improving the overall heath of their local population."

The Operating Framework sets out to improve cleanliness, improve patient experiences and allow better access to GP services.

David Nicholson, chief executive of the NHS, said: "The Operating Framework that I am publishing today sets out a truly ambitious programme for the NHS to deliver even more improvements in care for patients over the next three years."

Department of Health

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"Definitely, there is no budget allocated for Iinfection Control, it has to come out of existing funds" - Name and address supplied