The NHS has significantly improved its financial management since the deficit period of 2005-06, the Audit Commission has said.

It published its last ever annual use of resources and auditor’s local evaluation assessments, published today.

Ninety-four per cent of NHS trusts, whose financial management is assessed through the annual Auditor’s Local Evaluation, met or exceeded minimum standards in 2009-10 compared with just 63 per cent in 2005-06 when assessment started.

The annual use of resources assessment found 75 per cent of primary care trusts were performing above minimum standards by 2009-10 compared with 53 per cent the year before.

Audit Commission managing director for health Andy McKeon said the focus provided by the assessments had brought significant benefits, but continuing the assessments into further years would risk the ongoing costs of the exercises outstripping any remaining benefits.