North East Lincolnshire

‘Significant pressures’ sees Lincolnshire NHS Trust placed into financial special measures

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A trust which oversees hospitals in Scunthorpe and Grimsby has been placed into financial special measures.

Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust said that their financial position has deteriorated due to “significant pressures” that are being placed on the services.

As a result, it has been forecast that the trust will have a deficit of £30 million by the end of the financial year, as opposed to the planned £12.2 million debt.

Richard Sunley, interim chief executive, said: “Despite our best efforts to reduce our deficit our financial position has continued to deteriorate over the year and has recently worsened due to the significant pressures on our services.

“An increase in non-elective patient activity (i.e A&E attendances) in quarter four and a high medical vacancy rate has led to increased expenditure on nurse staffing and locum doctors.”

According to the trust, the pressures on services has also seen a drop in planned activities (operations and procedures) and therefore income.

Sunley added: “While our cost improvement programme has delivered savings of £12.4 million to date and is expected to deliver £13.7 million by the end of this financial year (4% consistent with 2015-16) our current forecasted deficit for the end of the financial year is £30 million (against a planned deficit of £12.2 million).

“As a result of us being unable to reduce our deficit quickly enough we are being placed in financial special measures.

“NHS Improvement will appoint an improvement director to work with us and will need to agree a financial recovery plan with them.”

MP critical of trust and government

Scunthorpe MP Nic Dakin

Scunthorpe MP Nic Dakin has said that there can be “no excuse” for the trust not getting things right for residents, but that it needed extra funding and support from central government.

The Labour MP said: “Let me start by saying that the staff who work locally in our NHS are dedicated professionals.

“In the last few weeks when I’ve visited A&E and many of the medical wards I’ve been by the effort of staff on the ground to deliver in the face of ever growing pressures.

“That said, last year when the Care Quality Commission judged the hospital as inadequate I made it clear there can be no excuse for not getting things right for local people.

“Since then I have reiterated my concerns in regular meetings with the trust.

“But financially the NHS is creaking, underfunded by this Conservative government.

“Trusts in financial special measures are supposed to receive a package of support from NHS Improvement designed to achieve rapid financial improvement, whilst maintaining and improving their quality.

“Our hospital trust needs to improve and the government needs to support it to improve.”