FINANCE: In minutes released at the last board meeting finance director NHS North West Lonoon David Slegg said the PCTs that ended 2011-12 in surplus had bailed out those that would have turned a deficit.

The minutes said: “While all PCTs had met their statutory duties and had been given unqualified audit opinions, three (Ealing, Hillingdon and Hounslow) had been given qualified value for money opinions due to the financial challenges they faced.

“The cluster-wide financial strategy had allowed these PCTs to be given financial support by those PCTs with surpluses (Brent, Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster). £24m had been given to the trusts with the largest financial problems.”