Published: 01/12/2005 Volume 115 No. 5984 Page 18 19
Alan Butler, director of finance, Hampshire and Isle of Wight strategic health authority
I am writing to express my disappointment at your article on Hampshire and Isle of Wight SHA (news, page 6, 17 November). Your interpretation of our honest and open explanation of how we are using payment by results to manage our financial position is at best a misinterpretation, and at worst inaccurate.
Payment by results has not been 'suspended' in Hampshire and Isle of Wight. It was explained in our statement that we are using payment by results to manage the financial position. You will be aware that payment by results carries responsibilities for both primary care trusts and other NHS trusts.
Although risk-sharing arrangements are in place in all organisations, in some they have been modified in order to meet cash limits and to facilitate the financial recovery of the local health community.
The debt in Hampshire and Isle of Wight is not 'soaring'. We started this financial year forecasting a£120m deficit. Already, this has been halved and further improvements are being pursued. This represents a significant achievement by all parts of the NHS in our area.