The British Medical Association has criticised a 'lack of clarity' on government spending on the NHS in England. A paper from its health policy and economic research unit, examining Department of Health press releases, says top-slicing for the modernisation fund and repeat announcements of the same money 'made it difficult for those delivering services to understand what money is available and plan accordingly'. The paper suggests that future announcements should make it clear what the source of the funding is. The BMA argues the lack of clarity is clouding the debate on funding the NHS.

BMA chair Dr Ian Bogle has yet to receive a response from Tony Blair to his letter seeking clarification of the prime minister's apparent pledge to increase NHS funding to European levels.

Current Issues in NHS Funding Flows (England). www.bma.org.uk