Sunderland health trust has £12million deficit

The health trust which runs Sunderland Royal Hospital is more than £12million in the red, according to new figures.

Sunderland Royal Hospital.
Sunderland Royal Hospital.

City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust currently has a deficit of £12.5million.

But bosses say the figure is not as bad as expected as “line with the majority of the NHS”.

NHS trusts ended the last financial year a record £2.45billion in deficit, prompting a warning that patient care will begin to suffer without rapid action to tackle health service finances.

The deficit was revealed in NHS Improvement’s quarter four financial and performance figures.

A spokeswoman for City Hospitals Sunderland told the Echo: “Whilst the trust ended the year with a deficit of £12.5million, this was less than originally forecast (£17.8million) and during the course of the year our staff have worked hard to help us exceed our cost improvement target.

“In line with the majority of the NHS we need to continue to deliver further savings over the course of the next few years and this will be challenging, however the quality and safety of patient care remains our number one priority.”

Jim Mackey, chief executive of NHS Improvement, said: “Today’s figures demonstrate that through programmes such as the Financial Improvement Programme and the measures to reduce spending on agency staff, we are starting to help providers make real progress.

“When we consider where we were six months ago, NHS providers have done a great job in reducing the planned deficit.

“The key now is for us all to work together to make the necessary improvements in 2016/17, to reduce any variations in the quality of care for patients, and to bring the NHS provider sector back into financial balance.”

But NHS Providers chief executive Chris Hopson said: “Today’s report reveals how the combination of increasing demand and the longest and deepest financial squeeze in NHS history is maxing out the health service.

“At the same time as treating the highest ever number of patients, NHS trusts are £2.4 billion in the red, with 80% of providers in deficit.”