North Yorkshire GPs set to inherit lower NHS debt

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GPs taking responsibility for North Yorkshire's NHS budget will inherit a lower debt than expected.

The county's primary care trust (PCT) warned last year it would end the financial year with a deficit of £19m.

In April the trust will be abolished and its finances passed to four clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).

The trust's chief executive, Christopher Long, said the deficit had fallen and he expected the CCGs to share a debt of up to £7m.

'Significant worry'

Mr Long said the trust remained the only one in England facing a deficit but he expected the final figure to be under £12m.

"We would expect around a third of the debt to go to the NHS Commissioning Board, which will be responsible for commissioning general practice, dentists and so forth, and the remainder to be divided between the four CCGs. Broadly speaking I am expecting something in the order of £6m or £7m to be divided between the four of them," he said.

Dr Phil Garnett, chair of the Scarborough and Ryedale CCG, said: "It is a significant worry for us but the situation is better than we thought it might be and we do have plans in place."

The trust has struggled to control its financial position since its formation in 2006 which has led to a number of restrictions on services such as IVF treatment and injections for chronic back pain.

It also reduced the opening hours of the minor injuries unit at Malton as part of cost-cutting measures last December.

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