QA Hospital reveals it will suffer £36.8m deficit

Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Cosham.
Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Cosham.

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PORTSMOUTH Hospitals NHS Trust is expected to finish the current financial year with a £36.8m deficit.

The trust, which runs Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, was due to make a £9m surplus.

But today Mark Cubbon, chief executive, admitted it will have to save a ‘considerable’ amount of cash.

No redundancies will be made, services will not be cut and Mr Cubbon said patient care will not be compromised.

The position is not the result of the collapse of Carillion, which runs all non-clinical services at QA.

‘The figure is significantly larger than we would like and the challenge to bring our finances back onto a sustainable footing should not be underestimated,’ he said.

‘However it is our firm belief that it can and will be delivered.

‘We all need to live within our means and as an NHS trust we have a duty to our patients, our partners and our community to make sure that every penny is spent wisely.

‘The responsibility to return the organisation back to financial health rests with us and we expect our community, as well as our regulator to hold us to account for ensuring that we do just that.

‘The amount of money we have to save is considerable and may come as a surprise to some.

‘I have no doubt there will be some difficult choices ahead, but my board colleagues and I are committed to ensuring that patient care will not be compromised to make savings.

‘Instead we will be focusing on ensuring that there is greater rigour and control over how and where our money is spent.’

As previously reported in The News, when Mr Cubbon became chief executive in July last year one of his priorities was to improve the hospital’s financial position.

Since then a number of changes have been made to the trust’s board and Mr Cubbon said there will be a ‘renewed focus’ on a financial recovery programme.

He added: ‘The programme will revisit all major investments, appointed a financial turnaround director supported by independent financial advisers to focus on returning the trust to financial sustainability and begun the development of a three year financial recovery and sustainability plan.

‘In the coming months we will be publishing our organisational strategy and a key part of this will be a plan over the next three years to deliver a sustainable financial future for the trust.

‘The consequences of not delivering on our plans could not be more serious but in doing so we have a huge opportunity to deliver a positive future for our patients and our services.

‘That is what drives all those who work for the trust and I know they will do everything they can to secure it.’

More to follow