QA Hospital trust records deficit of £23m missing target by £9m

A HOSPITAL trust has recorded a deficit of £23m '“ £13m more than its target.

Saturday, 21st May 2016, 6:10 am
Report shows there are financial concerns at the QA

Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Queen Alexandra Hospital, initially set a deficit target of £9.7m.

But figures in its Integrated Performance Report – March 2016 show a deficit of £23.4m for the financial year.

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt said the report showed there were financial problems at the Cosham hospital.

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‘Some improvements have been made at the QA in recent years, but these figures show that some problems are still being perpetuated,’ she said.

‘There is more the QA needs and wishes to do, but part of the responsibility also lies in healthcare outside of the QA.

‘I am convinced the more joined-up we can make health and social care budgets, the sooner we will see the strides that need to be taken to keep people out of hospital in the first place.

‘I know the Department of Health has been and is taking a close look at what is happening at our hospital.’

The report did show the trust made more money than expected. Its target income was £494m, but it managed to bring in £503m. However, it also spent more by £23.8m. The target was £469m but it spent £492m.

Councillor John Ferrett, the out-going chairman of the Portsmouth Health Overview and Scrutiny Panel, said the number of bed-blockers and people using A&E could be affecting the finances.

He added: ‘It is no surprise that the hospital is suffering financial pressures when there are a number of people remaining in hospital who do not need to be there.

‘A shortage of GPs and the changes to walk-in centres could see pressures increase at the A&E department.’

A Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust spokeswoman said: ‘We are working hard to address financial challenges.

‘We have a plan in place to reduce our deficit and to ensure the sustainability and continued improvement of our services.’

Nationally, the NHS faced its biggest deficit to date. Data showed NHS trusts ended the last financial year a record £2.45bn in deficit, which was lower than the £2.8bn predicted but almost three times more than the previous year.

Overall, 65 per cent of the 240 trusts are in deficit.