Hospital bosses must produce recovery plan for NHS watchdog
HOSPITAL bosses will present health watchdogs with a five year plan to prove they are clinically and financially viable.
Bolton NHS Foundation Trust reports every month to health watchdog Monitor following demands to stabilise the Royal Bolton’s financial position last year.
In 2012/13 the trust had a deficit of £14.4 million. The aim for 2013/14 is a reduced deficit of £7.8 million and to break even the following year — a target hospital bosses have admitted will be “difficult”.
The five year plan is yet to be approved by the trust’s board of directors but will focus on three key areas.
1. How the trust will maintain and improve the quality of services in Bolton by working with the Bolton Clinical Commissioning group.
2. How the trust will make at least four per cent efficiency savings every year.
3. How the trust will get rid of the £7.8 million deficit by April 2014 –—the start of the next financial year.
Simon Worthington, director of finance, said: “It will be a five year plan. Anybody at the hospital will tell you there have been significant financial problems.
“But it is obvious from our results that we are making big progress because the deficit is coming down.
“One of the stipulations Monitor has made, as they would with any trust anywhere in our circumstances, is that we have produce a plan to show that we are going to be financially viable in the medium term.”
The deficit for this financial year, which started in April 2013, stood at £3.2 million at the end of July.
Even though the trust has lost an average of £1 million per month since April, hospital bosses say they are ahead of plan.
David Wakefield, chairman of the Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, admitted there were challenges ahead but said the Royal Bolton was performing “pretty well”.
He added: "It's a trust and health service and there are targets that we are failing and, yes, that keeps us awake at night, but relative to our trust, we are improving all of the time.
"The numbers have demonstrated that and I think the executive team are doing really well and financially we are doing well as we move into the autumn."
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