No easy way out of this, says health chief - The Evesham Observer

No easy way out of this, says health chief

Evesham Editorial 2nd Oct, 2015 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016   0

HEALTH chiefs at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust say there is no knight in shining armour that is going to come in and save the cash-strapped organisation.

During its annual general meeting at Worcestershire Royal Hospital on Wednesday (September 23), Colin Gentile, interim director of finance revealed that the 2014/15 deficit £25.9m and could hit £58m in 2015/16.

However he added: “Although the numbers are bad at the moment, there is hope.

“We need to spend more sensibly – there is not a knight in shining armour that is going to come in with a lot of cash.”

Neal Stote, the chairman of the Save the Alex campaign, agreed and added outside action is needed.

“We have a health service that has got a chronic funding problem – do we think the trust can turn itself around – no we don’t.

“We have no confidence in that.”

During the 2014/15 year, the trust spent an extra £4.2m than was planned on agency staff wages.

A further £4.6m was incurred in fines and penalties – and Mr Gentile pointed out that such sums cannot be budgeted for in forward plans for the year, adding ‘every fine is an extra burden.’

With regards to the current 2015/16 year, the trust is already £23.8m overspent after just five months.

In a statement Mr Gentile said: “If no action is taken the deficit would be £58m.”

However the interim director of finance assured that the trust has a saving plan which aims to reduce that figure to £48m.

“We are working to get the deficit down further to try to reach our target of a deficit no greater than £31.3m,” he added.

The meeting comes just weeks after news that the cash-strapped trust is currently overspending by £1m per week.

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