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25 Nov 2002 : Column 146W—continued

West Sussex Health Authority

Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will make a statement on the financial deficit of the West Sussex health authority at its dissolution; and how this was divided between the primary care trusts that took over its commissioning role; [82469]

Ms Blears: The Surrey and Sussex Strategic health authority has advised me the former West Sussex health authority did not have a deficit.

The Princess Royal hospital was part of Mid Sussex national health service trust. On 31 March 2002 the trust was dissolved and the management of the acute services provided by the hospital was transferred to the Brighton and Sussex University hospitals NHS trust. The final accounts of the Mid Sussex NHS trust presented an outturn deficit of £2.7 million. However, the underlying deficit was £4.7 million.

In June 2002 the trust was allocated transitional funds of £4 million from the NHS bank to offset the underlying deficit. The trust planned to manage the remainder of the deficit through cash releasing efficiency savings.