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11.12.17

King’s College trust in financial special measures after posting £92m deficit

King’s College Hospital NHS FT has been placed in special measures by NHS Improvement following a projected deficit of £92m.

The news is another blow to the trust after yesterday’s announcement that its chair, Lord Kerslake, would be stepping down.

NHSI had initially agreed a budget deficit of £38m for 2017-18 but, in October, officials formerly worsened the prediction to £70m.

The final straw came earlier this week when King’s College Hospitals confirmed the forecast would be closer to £92m – more than doubling the deficit within months.

“The financial situation at King’s has deteriorated very seriously over recent months and we have now placed the trust in special measures to maximise the amount of scrutiny and support that it receives,” commented Ian Dalton, recently appointed chief executive of NHSI. “We understand that the wider NHS faces financial and operational challenges, and other trusts and foundation trusts have large deficits.

“However, none has shown the sheer scale and pace of the deterioration at King’s. It is not acceptable for individual organisations to run up such significant deficits when the majority of the sector is working extremely hard to hit their financial plans, and in many cases, have made real progress.”

Kerslake resigned from his position as chairman of the trust on Sunday evening, blaming the government and regulators for not understanding the pressures and challenges facing the NHS.

A spokesperson for King’s said he was a “passionate advocate and champion of the trust” who had led the organisation through a “challenging period.”

NHSI also announced its intention to appoint Ian Smith – formerly chief executive of the General Healthcare Group – as the new chair of the trust, with more details expected soon.

Following the special measures announcement, the trust will have a financial improvement director put in place and will be expected to draw up and deliver a financial improvement plan.

Top image: Andy Hepburn PA Wire PA Images

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