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Warning that Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital has ‘really tough year’ ahead

PUBLISHED: 12:39 31 March 2017 | UPDATED: 12:39 31 March 2017

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Picture: James Bass.

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Picture: James Bass.

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2009

The chief executive of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital has warned a “tough” year lies ahead.

Mark Davies, the chief executive of the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital. Photo: NNUH Mark Davies, the chief executive of the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital. Photo: NNUH

The Colney hospital has had a difficult period, having only come out of special financial measures, last month.

NHS bosses took action last summer, with the trust one of five across England selected for intervention after failing to meet its financial commitments.

The hospital is now on track to achieve its forecast deficit of £25m, having brought that figure down from the £32m it faced last July.

But the hospital’s top officer Mark Davies warned the year ahead could be even more difficult.

He said: “It’s clear money will remain increasingly tight, demand will continue to rise and our capacity will remain pretty constrained until we increase it, as we are planning to do.

“That’s a very difficult position because we will be held to certain standards and targets and it’s going to be a really tough year.”

Simon Stevens, NHS England’s chief executive, today announced some targets could be relaxed, to enable hospitals to focus on other areas, such as cutting cancer waiting times.

The hospital hit five of its six targets for cancer in February and Mr Davies said the board had always targeted those as a primary focus.

On Mr Stevens’ announcement, which relaxes the requirement for hospitals to treat, within 18 weeks, 92pc of patients waiting for non-urgent operations, Mr Davies said the devil would be in the detail.

But he said: “We have to be optimistic, but it feels like, while this year felt tough, what’s expected of us next year looks even tougher.”

Mr Davies was speaking at a public boarding meeting at the hospital.

The meeting also heard the findings of a staff survey. That survey included that only just over 56pc of staff would recommend the hospital as a place to work.

And there were “statistically significant” increases of 2pc in the number of staff who said they had felt discriminated against at work and 1pc in the number of staff who had experienced physical violence from a colleague.

Mr Davies said the results of the survey were being taken “very seriously”. He said: “It’s really important to hear what they feel about working here.”

More positive news was that of more than 2,600 patients who gave the hospital feedback in February, 99p were either satisfied or very satisfied with kindness and compassion shown.

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