FINANCE 2004-05 accounts show £1.4bn was spent on additional staff and £2bn extra on pay

Published: 01/12/2005 Volume 115 No. 5984 Page 12

Almost a third of all primary care trusts ended the last financial year in deficit, accounts for the Department of Health reveal.

Of the 303 PCTs in England, 91 overspent in the year 2004-05. The overspends contributed to the overall NHS deficit of£250m last year.

A large number of acute trusts were also facing financial problems last year. Of the 84 'significant control issues' - those which prevent or hamper plans to meet public service agreement targets or stay within resource limits - more than half concerned trusts' financial position.

The statement of DoH resource accounts for 2004-05 details where the funding increases have gone in the NHS:£1.4bn was spent on additional staff (8,050 doctors and 11,160 nurses, midwives and health visitors),£0.8bn on additional prescribing and another£0.8bn on goods and services.

A further£1.2bn was used to fund training, research and capital infrastructure, including the construction of six new hospitals. And£2bn was spent on extra pay.

The report also reveals that the DoH underspent by£1.7bn in 200405. However this figure does not include the surplus or deficits of trusts and the performance of certain arm's-length bodies.

The accounts of the arm's-length bodies were all signed off with the exception of the NHS Pensions Agency, where issues relating to the management of student grants had arisen and 'are being addressed'.

The report confirmed that NHS organisations incurred a deficit in 2004-05 of around£250m - less than 0.5 per cent of the NHS budget.

The report was written on 26 October, the day after health secretary Patricia Hewitt said community staff would continue to be employed by the NHS unless and until the PCT decides otherwise.

Nevertheless, the document still states that 'changes to PCT service provision will be complete by 2008'.

The accounts also reveal the salaries of the top civil servants at the DoH (see box).

Salaries of the departmental board, 2004-05

Sir Nigel Crisp, chief executive of the NHS:£210-215,000

Sir Liam Donaldson, chief medical officer:£175-180,000

Sarah Mullally, chief nursing officer (to Sep 2004):£65-70,000

Christine Beasley, chief nursing officer (from Oct 2004):£125-130,000

John Bacon, director of delivery:£170-175,000

Sian Jarvis, director of communications:£130-135,000

Hugh Taylor, director of strategy and business development:£130-135,000

ichard Douglas, director of finance:£125-130,000

Stephen O'Brien, director of strategy (from June 2004):£125-130,000