10. July 2012 14:23
A debt of £19m owed by NHS North Yorkshire and York will be written off to provide the area’s CCGs with a clean slate.
The PCT’s debts, which it blames partly on past underfunding, could rise to £50m before it is dissolved in April 2013.
The decision to write off the debt is part of a Department of Health policy to ensure that CCGs take over from NHS trusts without any ‘legacy debts’.
Christopher Long, Chief Executive of NHS North Yorkshire and York, told a trust board meeting the £19m debt was a “best-case scenario” and the actual figure could reach £50m.
Speaking in Parliament, York Central MP Hugh Bayley (pictured) said: “NHS North Yorkshire and York inherited a deficit when it was set up, and despite external consultants and two top NHS managers being brought in to deal with the problem, that deficit has continued year by year, so the Government has to address the underlying funding problem.”
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley replied that PCTs historically “did not cope” with financial restrictions. “It is up to the new clinical leadership in Yorkshire to make these things happen more effectively,” he added.
NHS North Yorkshire and York said the trust’s debt is “historical”, though it noted that overspend on contracts continues. It attributed the problems to a “relatively low funding allocation” and the region’s “diverse geography”.