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Local government and the NHS – The local audit perspective

Local public bodies (local authorities, including police and crime commissioners and fire and rescue authorities, and local NHS bodies such as Clinical Commissioning Groups, NHS trusts and Foundation Trusts) are finding it increasingly difficult to balance the delivery of good quality services and maintaining a sound financial position. The NAO’s recent reports on Financial sustainability of police forces in England and Wales 2018, Financial sustainability of local authorities 2018 and Financial sustainability of the NHS have highlighted from a national perspective some of the key issues local public bodies are facing.

This study will summarise the issues reported to local public bodies by their external auditors in 2017-18, and show how the number and type of issues reported has changed over recent years. It will also provide an insight into how local public bodies are responding to the issues raised, and the extent to which information from local auditors informs the oversight arrangements of relevant central government departments.

It is envisaged that this study will be followed up in future years by an annual summary of the common issues being reported by local external auditors each year.

If you would like to provide evidence for our study please email the study team on enquiries@nao.org.uk putting the study title in the subject line. The team will consider the evidence you provide; however, please note that due to the volume of information we receive we may not respond to you directly. If you need to raise a concern please use our contact form.