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NHS Charities Funds

February 7, 2010 12:00 AM
By Jacquie Bell, Parliamentary Candidate, Stockton South in Northern Echo & Darlington and Stockton Times

Dear Sir

I refer to my letter of January 2010 in which I raised concern that NHS Charities worth £330 million were at risk of being nationalised under new Government accounting rules to be introduced in April 2010, meaning that charitable donations would count as gifts to the state. Locally, they included the North East Ambulance Service Trust Fund, South Tees Hospitals General Charities Fund and other related charities.

The Government could potentially have used these monies to cover up cuts in future health spending by replacing public funds with charitable donations.

I am now delighted to see that the Treasury has backed down on the plans after strong protests from Liberal Democrats and others like the Charity Commission - a welcome climb down and a victory for common sense. Consolidating charitable funds into the accounts of NHS bodies would have undermined the independence of the charities and the confidence of donors. The door could have been open for potential manipulation of NHS budgets.

It is essential that the funds of NHS charities remain separate from those of the state.

.

Yours sincerely

Jacquie Bell (Mrs)

Parliamentary Candidate - Liberal Democrat

Stockton South