The NHS chief executive has defended its expected record £1.8bn surplus as 'relatively small' and 'healthy'.

The 2 per cent underspend, revealed by HSJ earlier today, was 'relatively manageable', David Nicholson told the Commons health select committee.

He said: 'That surplus is not with us at the centre. I haven't got it in a safe in my office. It's actually out there with the primary care trusts. It really is a matter for local PCTs as to how to use these resources.'

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