letters

Your item on health authorities facing in-year deficits ('Over half HAs reveal in-year deficits', news, page 5, 12 July) does not give a true representation of the financial position in Redbridge and Waltham Forest. The story confuses historical accumulated deficits with in-year financial positions. In 1999-2000, this health authority had an in-year surplus of£2.5m. For the financial year 2000-01, a surplus of£2.7m will be recorded.

The deficit referred to for this area by the controller and auditor general is the accumulated deficit, which was inherited by the new health authority when it was established in 1996. This accumulated deficit is being reduced progressively by our in-year surpluses.

For the first time in nearly a decade, the Redbridge and Waltham Forest health economy has been in financial balance for three years consecutively. We have continued to meet national service targets despite higher drug prices, winter pressures and the requirements of the working time directive.

David Avis Director of finance Redbridge & Waltham Forest HA