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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

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Barrow hospital £17.2m savings 'black hole'

COST-CUTTING measures announced by hospital bosses are merely the tip of the iceberg in the mammoth task of making major financial savings, it has been revealed.

So far, the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust has only managed to identify £12.8m of forecast savings for the financial year – compared with the £30m it needs to pull back.

And “priority projects” identified by the trust in its Cost Improvement Programme consultation paper are only expected to save £5.2m during 2013/14.

The eight schemes, which put at least 230 whole-time equivalent posts at risk, were planned to save £6.8m.

But the latest forecast savings, published by UHMBT this month, show a reduction of £1.6m in that amount this financial year.

Each project will save more money in future financial years because they will be in place for the full 12 months.

The most notable of the priority schemes are the proposed removal of 100 beds – including 40 at Furness General Hospital – and reductions in nursing numbers.

The bed reductions are predicted to save £1.3m in 2013/14, compared with a planned £2.4m, and the nursing review £1.1m compared with £1.7m.

Meanwhile, figures showing predicted savings trustwide show that, even factoring in the priority projects, all UHMBT’s main divisions have millions of pounds’ shortfall in its cost improvement targets.

It leaves the trust with £17.2m of savings still to find.

Director of finance, Tim Bennett, said: “The trust’s cost improvement plan identifies a large number of schemes which, taken together, would help make millions of pounds of savings recurrently.

“However, as schemes progress towards implementation, figures and savings generated are refined.

“We recognise there is a gap between the savings we need to make as a board and the savings schemes already identified and we will continue to work with staff to identify other areas where savings can be made, while continuing to speak to commissioners and Monitor about our latest plans.”

The trust’s CIP has already caused concern, after it revealed 170 whole-time equivalent posts are expected to be cut from 1,797 nursing, midwifery and support staff, including administrative and clerical roles.

An estimated 40 general administrative and clerical posts will be lost, plus 20 from estates and facilities.

Have your say

Conclave, Florence is correct.

1. Executive management salaries up 25% in
past year.
2. Management Consultancy Fees up 300% to
4.6 million in the past year.
3. 14 million spent on locum/agency staff
in the past year.

No where I would be making the cuts. The NHS is now so top heavy its back is broken.

Posted by Top Heavy Bottom Light on 20 May 2013 at 19:02

Not sure where your figure of 4.6 million comes from Florence

What is of concern is a self employed manager leading these cuts paid 25,000 pounds per month and lots of other managers not on the payroll earning similar amounts

Explain that one

Posted by Conclave on 19 May 2013 at 16:55

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