Portsmouth councillor says community care is way to help QA Hospital’s finances

Councillor Luke Stubbs
Councillor Luke Stubbs
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THE councillor in charge of adult social care and public health has said community care is the way forward.

Luke Stubbs, a cabinet member at Portsmouth City Council, said caring for people in their homes will help acute hospitals deal with demand and financial pressures.

His comments come after Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust (PHT), which runs Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, is expected to make a deficit of £36.8m this financial year.

This is against an original budget forecast of a £9m profit.

Cllr Stubbs said: ‘This is a very considerable deficit and something that the hospital, along with partners, will need to work together on to find ways of reducing it.

‘The only way the health and social care system will be able to remain in budget is to change the way healthcare is delivered.

‘There needs to be more care at home and more spent on GPs and community nurses to keep out of hospitals.

‘That is the key to all of this.’

Cllr Stubbs added: ‘The solution is easy to identify but hard to implement.

‘We could be looking at another difficult year.’

Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, leader of the Liberal Democrats in Portsmouth, praised the care given by QA Hospital staff and said the government had contributed to the trust’s present financial issues.

It comes as last year PHT missed out on £11.7m in Sustainability and Transformation Plan funding from the government.

But he did say the collapse of construction firm Carillion, which happened earlier this month, could help QA.

Cllr Vernon-Jackson said: ‘This is an opportunity now Carillion has gone bust for QA to put more of its finances back into caring for patients.’