Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire hospitals trust set to miss special measures deficit target

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust is forecast to miss its deficit control target by more than £5 million.

The trust agreed a target deficit of £77 million with NHS Improvement back in December 2017.

However, ULHT looks set to miss that after forecasting an end of year overspend of £82.4 million.

It comes before officials from the trust appear before the Health Scrutiny Panel for Lincolnshire on April 18.

NHS Improvement placed ULHT in financial special measures in September 2017.

Since then, the trust was set a planned deficit of £63.3 million for 2017/18.

However, ULHT later asked NHS Improvement to revise the target to £77 million.

Karen Brown, Director of Finance at the trust, said that there were several reasons for the financial gap.

She said: “In the midst of challenging finances in the NHS, and despite missing the control total, the trust saved £16 million over the last year and continued to invest in services to deliver the best possible care to the patients of Lincolnshire.

“There are several reasons for the size of our financial gap but the main one is a reduction in NHS income.

“We have had to respond to the fire at Pilgrim hospital, a norovirus outbreak, a cyber-attack and unprecedented winter pressure which all resulted in a loss of income to the trust.”

Mrs Brown added that the trust is also looking to reduce its agency spend, which stands at £30 million, and will work closely with partners to reduce their deficit.

“We are also experiencing a rise in emergency activity and an increase in spending on agency doctors and nurses,” she said.

“We are focusing a lot of effort on reducing this agency spend with plans that focus on local, regional and national recruitment.

“But we need to eliminate the deficit over time. The only realistic way of achieving this is for a complete remodelling of the health and care system.

“We are working closely with our health and social care partners as part of the STP to create a modern, effective, sustainable system which has patients’ needs at its core.”

It comes after health authorities across Greater Lincolnshire are forecast a total overspend of £150 million by the end of the 2017/18 financial year.

ULHT is forecast the highest overspend while Lincolnshire West Clinical Commissioning Group has a estimated deficit of £4.5 million.