NHS debts topped £540m last year

The NHS ran up debts of more than half a billion pounds by the end of the last financial year, the health secretary, Patricia Hewitt, revealed yesterday.

The figure of £547m is significantly higher than the £512m which NHS trusts initially reported in June and way above the government’s target of £200m.

However, Ms Hewitt stressed in her written statement to MPs that figures for the current year suggested the NHS would have a small surplus.

Guardian Unlimited Politics | Special Reports | NHS debts topped £540m last year despite cash injection

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