Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn asks for government loan of more than £20m
- Credit: IAN BURT
One of the region's hospitals looks set to borrow more than £20m from the Department of Health (DOH), to help plug a financial shortfall.
The Board of Directors at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in King's Lynn heard today how although they lost less than was forecast in December last year, for the year to date the trust had a deficit of £13.805m.
This was £4.561m more than was planned, and meant the trust was looking at a forecasted £18.3m deficit by the end of the financial year in April.
In a report prepared for the board by deputy director of finance, Russell Pearson it said: 'Based on the current income and expenditure run rates and potential deficit position in the trust has presented revised revenue loan funding requirements of £21.7m for 2016/17 to NHS Improvement (NHSI)/DOH.'
And at the meeting this afternoon he added: 'This falls against a backdrop of a challenging position.'
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'NHSI have directed the trust to manage its financial out-turn such that the 2016/17 deficit does not exceed £18.3m. To achieve this challenging target, the average loss each month in Q4 cannot exceed £1.5m.'
It could also mean losing out on an extra £4.6m available under new health plans announced last year.
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Elsewhere in the meeting, it was said the trust was reviewing ways to make savings on agency staff, and winter pressures combined with the high number of medically fit patients occupying beds had meant staff costs had risen.
However, Mr Pearson said auditors were looking at the potential to reduce the deficit later in the year.
Non-executive director Ian Pinches asked whether the trust could maintain obligations such as paying staff. But Mr Pearson said he did not see 'any issues around the cash we have requested.' He added: 'There is no reason to believe we won't maintain our cash flow.'
Dorothy Hosein, chief executive, said: 'The challenges faced by the NHS nationwide are well known and reported. We will not compromise on quality services or safe care but we must work hard to address our current financial issues. It is true that many trusts are facing financial difficulties but you will not hear any complacency from my team.'