Published: January 21, 2010
MP: 'Don't let hospital charity funds be swallowed up by NHS'

Burnham-On-Sea's MP this week expressed his concern that hospital charity donations could soon be regarded as part of general NHS budgets.

During a debate in the House of Commons, David Heathcoat-Amory drew attention to Burnham Hospital's League of Friends, which has given £300,000 towards the town hospital's refurbishment programme.

"Local charitable giving would be betrayed if it were regarded as part of the general NHS budget and used by the Government to make offsetting reductions in the funding for the NHS trust concerned," said the MP.

His comments come amid concern that government rule changes could mean charitable funds will be accounted for and managed as part of the general National Health Service budget.

However, Minister of State for the Department of Health Phil Hope responded during the debate: "I can tell the right honourable gentleman that that is not the case, and never will be. Charity trustees will continue to have full responsibility for charitable funds; they are not, and will not be, part of NHS budgets."

"I continue to work with the Treasury, Monitor, the Charity Commission and other stakeholders to seek ways of strengthening the independent governance of NHS charities." reported earlier this month how the latest phase of the hospital's ongoing £740,000 refurbishment is progressing.


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