THE organisation running Worcestershire Royal Hospital has said it is working to bring itself back into a positive financial position following this week’s announcement that it has been reported to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt for ending the 20013-14 financial year with a £14.2 million deficit
This week it was announced Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust – which also runs Kidderminster Hospital and Redditch’s Alexandra Hospital – was one of 19 hospital trusts reported to Mr Hunt for failing to break even last year.
Although the organisation is predicting it will end this year with a £9.8 million deficit, a trust spokesman said a recovery plan had been put in place to return to a positive balance.
“As a result of a significant reduction in funding during 2013/14 the trust was unable to deliver a break even position, which must then be formally reported by its external auditors to the secretary of state,” she said.
“However, the Audit Commission report released today also makes it clear that there are concerns about the financial resilience of a third of all NHS Trusts.
“This follows the recent Kings Fund report which sets out the level of financial challenge currently facing the NHS as it strives to meet year on year efficiency targets whilst also delivering improvements in staffing levels and patient outcomes.”
The Audit Commission report listed the trust as ‘Qualified ‘except for’’ in terms of the efforts it made to ensure value for money and financial efficiency, meaning it had appropriate arrangements in place but suffered one or more specific weaknesses.
The shortfall has been put down to the extremely high amounts of patients visiting A&E in the county over the winter continuing into the first few months of the year.
As a result of this costs have rocketed while some elective operations had to be cancelled to provide beds for emergency patients, reducing the revenue the trust would otherwise have gained.