NHS Finance

23.11.18

Nottingham University Hospitals Trust needs to fight £33m deficit or risks losing more funding

Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH) NHS Trust needs to fight back from a £33m deficit or it could lose further government funding in the future.

Local media claim that a report revealed that, just halfway through the financial year, the trust is already facing a deficit of £14.9m in its Financial Recovery Plan – leaving a projected deficit of £33m by next April.

The trust has said there will be no redundancies, but it did admit that some vacant posts may not be filled, or could be removed completely.

NUH, which controls Ropewalk House as well as Queen’s Medical Centre and City Hospital, ensured that none of the vacant roles will be withdrawn that are essential to patient safety—however, the Nottinghamshire Post noted that some clinical roles will be affected.

Failure to hit government targets could result in a major cash cut next year of almost £30m.

The Nottingham trust receives just under £1bn in funding each year, employs around 15,000 people, and provides acute and specialist services to 2.5 million people within Nottingham and surrounding communities.

NUH chief financial officer Rupert Eggington said while the trust has an incredibly challenging 2018-19 financial plan, the trust remains focused on getting the best possible financial results by year-end.

“Our financial position has deteriorated since quarter two as we have begun to see the true effects of last winter, including the cost of cancelled operations and associated catch-up activity and escalation beds that remain open as a result of the demand on our emergency services which is significantly above plan year-to-date,” he added.

“The cost of the coming winter, including opening 116 additional seasonal beds, has added a further cost pressure.

“Reaching our agreed year-end surplus position is dependent on the trust meeting its £41m savings target, receiving national monies linked to our financial and operational performance and securing additional financial support. We have developed a financial recovery plan to close the gap, which includes applying strengthened controls to reduce all spend in the remainder of the year.”

Mike Scott, spokesman for Keep our NHS Public Nottinghamshire, said: “This is just unbelievable – the government refuses to provide enough money to run the most important public service and then penalises trusts when they can’t cope, so they’ll be even worse off the following year.

“NHS workers tell us they can’t deliver quality patient care with these financial constraints and ask 'aren’t we just being set up to fail, so that private companies can come in and cherry-pick profitable services?' It certainly looks that way.”

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