Lincolnshire

ULHT predicting increased deficit of £55m after sustainability funding cut

United Lincolnshire Health Trust (ULHT) has revealed its predicted £47.9 million end of year deficit is likely to increase to £54.9 million by April.

It’s putting a large proportion of the £7 million rise down to the loss of sustainability and transformational funding after the trust failed to meet NHS constitutional standards.

It has been confirmed by ULHT that the trust will not be receiving £3.9 million in national sustainability funding (STF).

The amount of STF received is based on the trust’s success against metrics covering finance, A&E waits, Referral To Treatment and cancer performance.

ULHT were successful in quarter one for all the funding, however in quarter two the trust received the funding attributable to the financial target only.

Peter Hollinshead, interim director of finance said: “ULHT is now forecasting that we won’t hit our deficit target of £47.9 million by the end of March.

“We are predicting a year-end deficit of £54.9 million.

“The majority of this £7 million difference is because of not receiving £3.9 m in national sustainability and transformational funding due to our performance on some NHS constitutional standards.

“Prioritising safety over finance”

The trust has said the increase in debt is also due to ULHT ‘prioritising health over finance’.

During the winter months, the trust said it experienced ‘unprecedented pressures’ and used money to ensure there was extra staff to overcome the high demand.

Peter added: “During a very busy winter we have prioritised safety over finance.

“Like many trusts in England, we have experienced unprecedented pressures and have needed to open extra beds during times when demands were high.

“However our spend on agency staff this year is lower than last year due to some success in recruiting permanent staff.

“Our staff are working hard to reduce our deficit, the safety of patient care always takes precedence over finance.”