‘Infuriated’ councillor wants answers from health chiefs
9:50am Sunday 7th October 2012 in News
THE Royal Bolton Hospital’s board of directors must be held to account for the its financial failings, a leading councillor has said.
Cllr Andy Morgan, who sits on the council’s health, overview and scrutiny board, said he had been left “infuriated”
by the latest figures at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust.
It was revealed in The Bolton News yesterday that the Royal Bolton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, is £8 million in the red — a figure expected to rise to £12 million by April, and which could be as high as £16 million by the end of the financial year.
The Department of Health has shored up the hospital’s finances until the end of December with an £8 million loan.
Cllr Morgan said: “I cannot believe how the Trust has gone from surplus to a massive deficit in the matter of two years. We need some answers, not the drip-feed of information that is currently happening.
“The questions need to be asked to tell both users and staff how it is going to be sorted.”
At the last scrutiny committee, on September 4, Cllr Morgan says he asked about the level of deficit and was assured it would not increase from £3.8 million.
That figure was the amount reported by the hospital to be “unaccounted for” after problems in the Trust’s accounting led to PricewaterhouseCoopers being brought in to carry out an internal review.
It also came after health watchdog Monitor took the unusual step to intervene after issuing a damning report about the hospital’s finances in August.
David Wakefield was appointed as interim chairman, to replace Cllr Cliff Morris, who left his post three months before the end of his second term on the board.
At the hospital’s board meeting on Thursday, Mr Wakefield said: “The forecast does not look great.
“Clearly, we are going to do something to address the current spending and get some help with cash.”
Cllr Morgan added: “It is unacceptable and it is not fair to the staff who have all this uncertainty.”