Hospital bosses say application for multi-million pound loan to pay its staff is “routine”
- Credit: Ian Burt
Hospital bosses say an application for £3.5m loan in order to pay staff is a routine financial matter.
Papers for a board meeting held today said the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn needs to apply for additional loans on a monthly basis as existing borrowing facilities have been exhausted.
It stated that the loan was needed to ensure cash availability for payroll and essential clinical supplies, and that stretching creditors in excess of 60 days 'will almost certainly cause a number of suppliers of clinical consumables to cease trading with the trust as they place our account on hold'.
But chief executive Jon Green said this was a routine application for a loan they made to NHS England every quarter.
He said as the hospital is running on a deficit position the trust needs to be able to maintain a cash flow to pay it's bills. The QEH expects to end the financial year £16m in the red.
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'We run a business where we generate a certain amount of cash, we run a deficit position but we still need to pay the bills, therefore we go to NHS England as our bank. 'Other hospitals in the same position are doing exactly the same.'
He said the only reason the short term loan application had been placed under 'urgent action' in the board meeting on Tuesday, January 30, was because of the timescale, and it had to be approved by the board.
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The loan documents were issued on Friday, January 5 and needed to be returned 'immediately' to access the loan on Monday, January 15. But this could only happen with formal approval of the board.
Mr Green said a monthly loan is needed for the trust to be able to pay it's staff, which costs it nearly £12m a month.
Speaking at the meeting, Mr Green said thanked hospital staff for their efforts in the past five weeks, adding: 'I'd like to show my humbled gratitude to for health staff, I am doing my very best to get round to every ward, to see everyone is getting on as it can be difficult. 'Having that communication is very important. I was very much touched by how staff supported each other.'