‘Unrealistic’ targets to blame for health trust’s £17.5m deficit, says union

Ann Clay, of Unison.
Ann Clay, of Unison.
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Union chiefs say “unrealistic” Government expectations are the main cause of the City Hospitals Sunderland’s financial deficit.

Unison’s representative at Sunderland Royal Hospital, Ann Clay, today blamed the Conservative government for creating the problem.

Trusts which normally make a healthy profit aren’t doing it anymore.

Ann Clay, of Unison

“This is not the fault of the management here in Sunderland,” said Ms Clay.

“If you look up and down the country, a few years ago when foundation trusts were brought in, there were only a couple of trusts in trouble, but we managed to get back from that.

“If you look now, there are 80% of health trusts in dire need of money.

“The management are doing all that they can, I just think that the Government expectations are very unrealistic.

“Trusts which normally make a healthy profit aren’t doing it anymore.

“If Sunderland was the only one running at a loss then we’d have a problem, but we’re all in the same boat.”

The trust says it has not identified any job losses and “hopes this will not be required”.

Ms Clay added that all jobs in the health service contribute towards the quality of patient care but is concerned that unless the financial situation of the trust improves, certain provisions could be moved out of the city.

“In my position I have to look at every single job and give a statement on what that person does in their role,” she said.

“Managers are having to jump through hoops to get money released, which is why it’s such a worrying time for everyone working here. 
“We need the back-room staff like porters and caterers as well as those like nurses on the frontline.

“If you cut, cut and cut then eventually you will find there’s nothing else to cut.”