Published: 17/11/2005 Volume 115 No. 5982 Page 6

Payment by results has been suspended in parts of Hampshire as the strategic health authority battles to control spiralling debt in the health economy.

Hampshire and the Isle of Wight SHA is more than£30m in debt and forecasting a deficit of£59m by the end of the financial year. The move follows a damning report by the Audit Commission.

An SHA spokesperson said: 'Given the financial challenges facing this health economy, our guidance has allowed primary care trusts and [acute] trusts to modify the risk-sharing arrangements in place to minimise the financial risk on both sides.

'In certain circumstances, it has been agreed that income and activity will be fixed, as full blown PbR would only serve to further destabilise the financial position and recovery plans, as we would be merely passing the deficit around Hampshire.' The decision will apply to Southampton University Hospitals trust's service level agreements with all Hampshire PCTs; Portsmouth Hospitals trust's SLAs with Portsmouth City teaching, Fareham and Gosport and East Hampshire PCTs; and North Hampshire Hospitals trust's agreements with North Hampshire and Blackwater Valley and Hart PCTs.