NHS Croydon's £35million deficit report due
AN INDEPENDENT report into a primary care trust's deficit is to be published "very soon", health bosses have said.
NHS Croydon admitted before Christmas that it had spent £35 million more than it had budgeted for in 2011/12.
Auditors Ernst & Young, tasked with conducting an independent investigation, was due to report back on its findings in mid-January, but the deadline passed without an update.
NHS London has now said the report is nearing completion and is to be released to the public imminently.
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The primary care trust's deficit represented a swing of £40 million as it posted a surplus of £5 million in 2010/11.
It has to use reserves of £10.8 million to plug some of the gap, which left just £2.7 million until the end of the financial year.
The deficit emerged despite the Audit Commission, paid £275,000 to conduct the statutory audit, giving the accounts a clean bill of health.
Ernst & Young is understood to be exploring whether PCT bosses deliberately hid excessive spending. One line of enquiry is that expenditure was hidden in the accounts of the London Specialised Commissioning Group which has a budget of £832 million and is hosted by NHS Croydon.
A spokesman for NHS London said this week: "The independent report into finances at Croydon PCT in 2010/11 is in its final stages.
"We will make this report publicly available and expect to be able to publish it very soon."