The priority for the NHS is heathcare not balancing the books

I would add, before commenting, that Sir Amyas Morse was previously a senior partner at PWC.

Maybe that is what informs his view. I cannot, of course, be sure, but what is offered here is quite extraordinary. First there is surprise that:

Running a deficit seems to be becoming normal practice for acute trusts.

Of course it is! Why on earth would an NHS trust want to underspend the money it has been given? When its job is to provide health services why would it decide not to do that? These are not private sector activities run for gain. They are public sector services run to meet need. In that case of course deficits are what they should expect. That Sir Amyas does not comprehend that leads to doubt as to his fitness for the task given to him.

So does this lead to similar questioning:

The government’s commitment to give the NHS more funding, with almost half of this coming upfront, could be a significant step towards financial sustainability, if this funding can be devoted to improving the financial position of trusts rather than dealing with new costs.

Or, to put it another way, balancing the books comes before meeting health care need.

Worry when the priority for the NHS is balancing the books and not healthcare
http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2015/12/16/worry-when-the-priority-for-the-nhs-is-balancing-the-books-and-not-healthcare/