Powerful Parliamentary committee adds weight to calls for Trusts to stop “raiding” infrastructure budgets to fund running costs

The Committee of Public Accounts is appointed by the House of Commons to examine “the accounts showing the appropriation of the sums granted by Parliament to meet the public expenditure, and of such other accounts laid before Parliament as the committee may think fit” (Standing Order No.148).

As such it holds a powerful oversight brief on all aspects of government spending and regularly meets with government ministers and NHS officials, as well as those from other departments.

Its most recent report into ‘Sustainability and transformation in the NHS’ has been released and has laid out, in harsh terms, its criticism of the financial status of the NHS.

It states that, “Despite a rescue fund worth £1.8 billion in 2016–17, the financial position of the NHS remains in a perilous state. The NHS is still very much in survival mode, with budgets unable to keep pace with demand. The Department of Health and Social Care (the Department), NHS England and NHS Improvement are too focused on propping up the system and balancing the books in the short term and have not paid enough attention on transforming and improving patient services in the long term.”

Indeed, the Committee goes on to say, “We are disappointed that the Department’s lack of action means we have to repeat some of the same messages as our previous reports on the dangers of short-term measures used to balance the NHS budget and the risks of raiding investment funds to meet day-to-day spending. Despite our earlier warnings, the Department has not yet assessed the impact on patients or services of repeatedly raiding its capital budget to fund the short-term needs of the NHS.”

Energys Group Managing Director, Kevin Cox says, “While it is acknowledged there is important work going on by individual trusts, to develop low-carbon measures and make considerable savings that will positively impact the financial sustainability of the NHS, more work must be done by the industry to support trusts right across the service.

“There is no doubt that estates managers, financial managers and CEOs of trusts have a huge burden of responsibility to their patients and staff, especially when it comes to ensuring the financial viability of the service they provide. The answers they need are not always immediately obvious and this is where the commercial agility and specialist knowledge of suppliers such as Energys Group, can help them deliver smart estate-wide savings on projects of various sizes.

“Energys works with leading manufacturers of energy-efficient technologies across the lighting, heating and controls sectors, consulting, specifying and designing bespoke systems for public-sector projects across the UK. Energys has proven its ability to help organisations significantly reduce carbon emissions, on projects of varying sizes, estate-wide and to achieve significant ROI within specified time-limits.”

Talk to the Energys team today about how they can help you achieve significant savings across your estates 01403 786 212.

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