» Friday, March 18, 2005

Hospital Debt

Asked about the Times splash about the Health service, and what sort of service was it if the Government was "pouring billions" into individual funds that were still going overdraw, the Prime Minister's Spokesman (PMS) that people should put the story into perspective. The figures represented a tiny fraction of the NHS budget, and spending in the NHS had increased this year by £6 billion. The money was speeding up services, reducing waiting times, and providing more staff. The PMS said the reason some trusts were predicting a deficit at this stage was because some of them had crammed twelve months work into the first ten months of the financial year. Therefore, far from being a story about financial crisis, it was actually showing the NHS working and providing a good service to patients.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Lord Birt

Asked if it was correct the Prime Minister had commissioned work from Lord Birt about the Cabinet Office and the Treasury, the PMS said the story was completely without foundation, and was completely wrong.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comment (1)

DfT Select Committee/Tube

Asked what the Prime Minster's view was on the Transport Select Committee's report criticising the Tube, the PMS said the DfT had set out their views yesterday. We were into the first three years of a thirty-year contract, and there was a lot of work going on. We expected the current improvements on the Tube to continue, and we expected more improvements to take place over the coming years.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

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