Multi-million pound bail-out for Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Trust

General view of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital at Colney; April 2009; NNUH / Hospital /

General view of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital at Colney; April 2009; NNUH / Hospital / Colney / Parking / A & E; Picture: James Bass; Copy: Rebecca Gough; For: EN News; Evening News © 2009 (01603) 772434 - Credit: Evening News © 2009

Pressures on purse-strings at Norfolk's biggest health trust have left it dependent on a multi-million pound bail-out from the government, it has emerged.

Such are the financial problems at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust that it will – as things stand – run out of cash by November.

Only a £25m package of funds from regulator NHS Improvement will keep the organisation afloat financially, the trust's board of directors were told at a meeting yesterday.

It is the first time that the trust has appealed to the government for extra money, and comes just two years after the organisation recorded its first ever deficit.

The trust has budgeted to end this financial year £32.1m in the red – a big rise compared with the £21m deficit recorded in 2015/16.

Sheila Budd, acting director of finance at the trust, said: 'We know we are going to run out of cash and we need to secure support.

'We have started that process. We put this in our annual plan to the regulators so it isn't a surprise to them.'

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While it is understood NHS Improvement will stump up the cash, Ms Budd said she did not know when the deal would be completed.

'We're actively pursuing the application and it's important that we have proper assurance about the funding,' Ms Budd added.

Last week the regulator announced that a financial turnaround director would be appointed at the trust to help NNUH turn its performance around. Despite its economic difficulties the NNUH was named the most efficient teaching hospital in the country, according to an external report.

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