The only significant fall was in confidence in hitting the choose and book deadline

Confidence rose almost across the board in the latest primary care trust chief executives barometer, with strong rises on activity caps and financial balance. On the latter, just more than half of PCTs had a confidence rating of six or more.

The only significant fall was in confidence in hitting the choose and book deadline, which fell from 6.04 in April to 5.86 this month.

We also asked PCT chief executives about their confidence in two key policy issues: plurality of provision and the fitness for purpose review. On the former, 42 per cent of respondents gave it a score of six or more. On the latter they were much more critical, with 43 per cent giving it a score of three or less.

The Barometer survey is based on a panel of 90 PCT chief executives, carried out every two months. The panel, set up in association with NHS Networks, gives a score of 1-10 against key indicators.