MP backs new Royal chairman

A BOLTON MP says she will support the new chairman of the Royal Bolton Hospital as he tries to turn around its finances.

Yasmin Qureshi, who represents Bolton south east, met with David Wakefield to discuss the way forward for the hospital which was was placed at “red risk” in March by health watchdog Monitor when targets for A&E and 18-week treatment times were missed.

And in August, Monitor intervened again after a damning financial report said finances had “deteriorated significantly” and appointed Mr Wakefield as the trust’s new chairman.

Following the meeting with Mr Wakefield, Ms Qureshi, said: “It was useful to meet the new chairman to hear his assessment of the situation and his plans for the future. The financial stability of the hospital needs to be secured and time will be needed to get things back on track. The people of Bolton want their hospital to have a successful future and I will support the chairman’s efforts to make that happen.”

The Trust, which started this financial year with a £1.9 million deficit, must save £20 million this year and £50 million over the next three years. It plans to axe 200 staff.

The hospital has also been forced to pay £160,000 since April to the Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) for missing targets.

She said: “In the short term I’m hopeful that there would be the possibility of looking again at some of the hospital’s contracts, particularly those which carry financial penalties, to see if there is any room for renegotiation. The top priority has to be ensuring the highest standards of patient care for everyone who uses Royal Bolton Hospital.”

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