SEVERE bed-blocking has led to Queen Alexandra Hospital missing out on more than £7m of extra funding.
Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust – which runs the Cosham hospital – has revealed that it missed out on £7.6m worth of Sustainability and Transformation funding (STF) from the government in the last financial year due to ‘adverse financial and operational performance against trajectories’.
Bed-blocking is having a huge effect on the QA Hospital and more needs to be done about itCouncillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson
The STF was set up in December 2015 to provide £10bn worth of extra funding for NHS trusts across the county.
Its allocation to trusts is decided on strict conditions that the trusts have to meet in order to obtain the funds.
The new figures were revealed by the trusts’ finance director Chris Adcock in a report during a board meeting last month.
It comes after The News uncovered last month that the hospital was on black alert for more than a third of last year.
The city hospital spent 134 days on black alert, which was up from 87 days in 2015 – with bed-blocking blamed.
Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Liberal Democrat opposition leader on the city council and parliamentary candidate for Portsmouth South, said: ‘This is extremely unacceptable.
‘Bed-blocking is having a huge effect on the QA Hospital and more needs to be done about it. I was told on a visit to the hospital recently that they had 214 people on the wards that were waiting to be medically discharged. I am shocked to see the Tories have cut another £7m worth of funding for the hospital.’
Tory Portsmouth North candidate Penny Mordaunt said that while working as the MP for the area she had been working with the hospital to introduce a new online system to ease bed blocking, called Carequest, that would shortly assist the problem by finding places to move patients faster.
She said: ‘Over the next five years, funding for the QA would increase by 18 per cent under a Conservative government. We will increase the number of operations at the hospital and help ease bed blocking. This new scheme called Carequest is very clever and removes all the administration issues, enabling patients to be discharged quicker.’
A spokeswoman for the Trust said: ‘STF funding was available to all NHS Trusts if they met their quarterly financial targets. Our financial position deteriorated during the year so the full sustainability and transformation funding was not achieved.’