Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital trust chief has said financial challenges have led to tough decisions
- Credit: Mike Page
The chief executive of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has said he feels like 'piggy in the middle' as the hospital makes tough decisions in an attempt to save money.
Mark Davies said the trust has been forced to put the progress of two projects on hold as a result of the hospital being in financial special measures.
It comes as the trust missed out on £14.4 million of funding after it could not agree its 'control total' with the government.
Every hospital had to agree a control total, effectively a financial plan, with NHS chiefs to unlock extra funds available through the Sustainability and Transformation Fund.
But with the N&N missing out on this – and being placed in financial special measures – it has been forced to abandon plans for the Ambulatory Care and Diagnostic Centre project - to expand capacity for outpatient and day surgery services - and the relocation to another part of the hospital of the Children's Assessment Unit (CAU).
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The relocation of the CAU was a recommendation of the Care Quality Commission - which monitor, inspect and regulate health and social care services.
Mr Davies said: 'We have one regulator saying we have to save money and one saying we need to improve services. So we live in a completely contradicting environment at the moment. We are sort of a piggy in the middle.
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'We hope and expect this is a this year action. These schemes are as needed now as they were before. We have been very open with the staff about this and it is not something we have done lightly. We continue to make some pretty tough decisions.'
On Thursday, this paper reported the Henderson Unit at Julian Hospital in Norwich - which helps the N&N discharge patients faster - will cease to operate from October 21 because the trust does not have the money to fund it.
N&N chiefs approached North Norfolk, South Norfolk, and Norwich clinical commissioning groups to ask for funding but they could not provide any extra cash.
Mr Davies said: 'We were left with no choice but to close the service down...it is a sad thing for us.'