The Department and entities within its accounting boundary report on the basis of European Union Adopted International Financial Reporting Standards as interpreted and adapted for the public sector by HM Treasury’s Financial Reporting Manual (FReM).
Debt is not a specific classification of liability that is reported by entities including National Health Service trusts.
To provide a total liability amount for NHS trusts, either current and payable within 12 months or non-current and due to be settled beyond 12 months from the end of the financial year, would therefore include items which the Department would not expect to be viewed as debt.
For this reason the Department has interpreted the term debt to refer to outstanding balances on loans both with the Department and with Other Entities. The attached table identifies the total level of loans outstanding for NHS trusts as at 31 March 2018, on a current and non-current basis. As the question specifically refers to NHS trusts, detail for NHS foundation trusts has been omitted.
Loans held with the Department are eliminated on consolidation to arrive at the Group’s Consolidated Statement of Financial Position. As part of presenting a consolidated set of accounts, all intra group activity (including income, expenditure, assets and liabilities generated by intra group trading) is eliminated, so as to not overstate the Group position. For individual NHS trusts these loans with the Department represent a debt but this is not the case in regards to the Group position presented in the Department’s Annual Report and Accounts as balances held and transactions related to the loans held are eliminated.