Ruffley demands SHA is abolished: 'It oversees a £110 million overspend and should go'

Thursday, 8 June, 2006

David Ruffley MP has today demanded that Norfolk Suffolk and Cambridgeshire Strategic Health Authority (SHA) is abolished after it emerged that it has overseen an overspend in excess of £110 million in the last financial year.

Norfolk Suffolk and Cambridgeshire SHA area is one of the four worst performing areas in the country.

The role of the SHA is to give financial advice, training and support to health trusts in the region.

In the last financial year the collective overspend of all health trusts in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire was in excess of £110 million. The five worst offending trusts in the region are as follows:

• Cambridge City PCT Overspend £13,678,000

• North Norfolk PCT Overspend £12,219,000

• Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust Overspend £11,905,000

• West Suffolk Hospital NHS Trust Overspend £11,833,000

• Suffolk West PCT Overspend £11,460,000

West Suffolk Hospital NHS Trust is the seventh worst performing Hospital Trust in the country with an overspend that is 12.1 percent of its turnover.

David said:

'The Strategic Health Authority for Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire is supposed to support and advise the local Primary Care Trusts and Hospital Trusts. But it is overseeing a £110 million overspend. The SHA has simply not been doing its job.

'In the last year it has overseen a collective overspend in excess of £110 million. How on earth was this allowed to happen?

'This ineffective Quango has failed in its remit, failed the health service in our region and worst of all failed the people of Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.

'The SHA, which itself costs millions of pounds to run, should be scrapped and the money redirected to those who need it most- the professionals and patients.

'The extra investment this Government says is going into our NHS simply isn't reaching the front line.'