NHS Trust continues financial battle

Conquest Hospital, Hastings. SUS-170118-125056001
Conquest Hospital, Hastings. SUS-170118-125056001

The cash-strapped East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, which is responsible for the running of the Conquest and DGH, is starting to show signs of recovery, the trust’s director of finance has said.

The trust finished 2015/2016 £48m in the red and has set itself the target of shaving £16m off this figure by the end of this financial year.

Addressing a recent meeting of the trust board in Hastings, Jonathan Reid acknowledged that while the trust continued to face ‘significant operational pressures’ there were ‘emerging signs of recovery’.

Month eight showed a ‘small improvement’ in the trust’s financial position, but Mr Reid said the following month looked less promising.

He said: “Month nine did not show an improvement and won’t necessarily bring us to where we need to be at the end of the financial year, so we will need to discuss that.”

But Mr Reid added the trust was not ‘stepping back’ from its determination to be lifted out of financial special measures, adding: “We are not saying at this stage the financial delivery plan is undeliverable.”

One of the main focuses of the plan is cutting back on the amount of money the trust spends on agency staff.

In November, temporary staff expenditure was £3,624,000 - £150,000 less than October.

The trust also recently met with suppliers at the Conquest to identify further savings.

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