Letters

We were concerned to see your news story, 'Oxfordshire faces service cuts and asset sales' (page 8, 27 January).

Oxfordshire health authority is not cutting any money from Oxfordshire Mental Healthcare trust's budget. The trust's financial recovery plan requires a reduction in its annual expenditure, largely because it spent more than its annual income for the past four years.

Leaving aside details and historic changes in the trust's income which go back to the old contracting system, the trust has received an increase in its budget in the past year from modernisation funding, and the HA and primary care groups have allocated growth in the coming year to help support its services.

The savings of£1.3m in this year are a reduction in the trust's expenditure, not in its income. This will be realised by improved management of service resources and tighter internal 'housekeeping' measures.

The£4.3m mentioned is a result of reviewing how the trust goes about its work, both clinical and non-clinical, to ensure it uses its income in as patientfocused a way as possible. The asset sales release land and buildings fo the trust no longer has a use or wh need new facilities. There will be changes as a result, but service reductions are not in question.

The community hospital changes Oxfordshire are unrelated to the health service changes, and should associated with them.

Julie Waldron Chief executive Oxfordshire Mental Healthcare trust Michael Taylor Chief executive Oxfordshire health authority