West Herts NHS Trust needs cash injection 'to become financially viable'

St Albans & Harpenden Review: Picture from stock Picture from stock

West Herts NHS Trust needs a cash injection "to become financially viable" after it finished the financial year with a £13.4 million deficit.

The ailing trust was left with just £1million in the pot on Monday, March 31 - enough to cover two days worth of running costs, and severely below the ten days’ operating expenditure that trusts are required to hold by the Department of Health.

But it recorded a year-end cash balance of £6.3million - the equivalent of eight days of operating expenditure - after holding back more than £5million owed on capital spending.

Now NHS executives are seeking funds from the NHS Trust Development Authority (NTDA) in a desperate bid to resolve its debilitating financial situation.

West Herts, which was given the worst possible financial risk rating, will as a minimum be subject to monthly reporting and could require performance management intervention.

In a statement to the board, Clare Stafford, acting chief financial officer, said the trust needs to "recover its financial credibility" and that it continues to work with the NTDA to "ensure sufficient cash is available to operate".

They will be submitting an application for cash to cover the deficit plan and capital spending, and detailing the trust’s existing financial commitments, to the NTDA no later than the end of June.

West Herts, along with all NHS Trusts, is legally required to break-even in terms of expenditure and income taking one year with the next. Should it not agree a resolution with the NTDA, West Herts will have failed in that obligation.

The trust has blamed the shortfall on a £7.4million "slippage on savings" and increased nursing costs.

The financial report states: "The deficit is mainly driven by underperformance against savings and expenditure above budgeted levels within nursing, medical pay and on drugs/clinical supplies."

West Herts achieved £7.6million of savings over the 12-month period - just 51 per cent of the planned savings.

Clare Stafford’s report said: "If continued, this will impact on the trust’s ability to become financially viable."

Samantha Jones, trust chief executive, said: "As a trust we are committed to providing the people of St Albans, Watford, Hemel Hempstead and surrounding areas with the best possible care in a safe and welcoming environment. 

"With this in mind, over the past financial year we have invested an additional £7.9 million in schemes to improve the care we provide to our patients and to ensure we meet all of the required quality and safety standards.  This included spending an additional £3.9million to recruit 160 new nurses to ensure our wards are staffed at appropriate levels.

"This significant investment, together with an increase in the number of emergency patients we treated which, in turn, impacted on the number of planned operations we were able to perform, led to the trust ending the financial year 2013/14 with a deficit of £13.4million.

"We are currently predicting to end the financial year 2014/15 with a £14million deficit and we are working with NTDA on an application for cash support. 

"Moving forward, we are working with our doctors, nurses, midwives, other staff, patient representatives and NHS partners to develop a long term clinical strategy for our hospitals which will help ensure we are both clinically and financially viable for the longer term."

Comments (11)

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7:07pm Wed 14 May 14

bishopofwatford says...

Well this doesnt look good for the " health campus". Still i wonder what the farm terrace allotments are valued at ...that might fill a financial hole !!
Well this doesnt look good for the " health campus". Still i wonder what the farm terrace allotments are valued at ...that might fill a financial hole !! bishopofwatford
  • Score: 9

7:11pm Wed 14 May 14

TRT says...

So, no chance of a new hospital at all then.
STOP THE HEALTH CAMPUS NOW!
So, no chance of a new hospital at all then. STOP THE HEALTH CAMPUS NOW! TRT
  • Score: 12

6:26am Thu 15 May 14

sjtrebar says...

bishopofwatford wrote:
Well this doesnt look good for the " health campus". Still i wonder what the farm terrace allotments are valued at ...that might fill a financial hole !!
As we have always said, they will not be building any new hospital on the allotment. But what they will be doing is taking away a fantastic amenity from local residents. Many families rely on the allotments as their only locally accessible growing spaces. We believe that all local residents should have access to growing spaces, so we can teach our children important lessons about caring for their small bit of the world, which in turn will teach them their own outward responsibility to everybody else’s bit of the world. Growing and gardening promote activity, creativity and curiosity, and we want to live in world with people who share these attributes and not a world filled with lethargy and avarice which will exacerbate existing problems we have in the UK like; obesity, lack of food security and provision of viable green environments to support
wildlife and our ailing bee population: all issues in which gardening
and growing are a key solution.
[quote][p][bold]bishopofwatford[/bold] wrote: Well this doesnt look good for the " health campus". Still i wonder what the farm terrace allotments are valued at ...that might fill a financial hole !![/p][/quote]As we have always said, they will not be building any new hospital on the allotment. But what they will be doing is taking away a fantastic amenity from local residents. Many families rely on the allotments as their only locally accessible growing spaces. We believe that all local residents should have access to growing spaces, so we can teach our children important lessons about caring for their small bit of the world, which in turn will teach them their own outward responsibility to everybody else’s bit of the world. Growing and gardening promote activity, creativity and curiosity, and we want to live in world with people who share these attributes and not a world filled with lethargy and avarice which will exacerbate existing problems we have in the UK like; obesity, lack of food security and provision of viable green environments to support wildlife and our ailing bee population: all issues in which gardening and growing are a key solution. sjtrebar
  • Score: 10

7:17am Thu 15 May 14

Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford says...

The Government needs to sort out the hospital finances.

If the debt is down to bad management, then put in place good management. Whatever happens, these debts must be paid off by the government so that funds for medical care go into medical care, not debt repayments.

Watford needs a new hospital. The NHS can't even think of building a new one while they have debts and so they have no plans for for a new hospital in Watford.

Worse still, if the LibDems and Tories have their way, we will have a housing estate so vast that there will be no room for a new hospital, ever.

We (UKIP) have pledged to halt the building and establish the requirements for a new hospital before any other building takes place. We believe this is the common sense approach.

We would also leave Farm Terrace allotments 100% intact and improve their protection. It seems far too easy for a greedy council to just grab allotments and build houses on them. That can't be right, and the law agrees with us.

Stop the greed. Build a new hospital in the future. Vote UKIP.
The Government needs to sort out the hospital finances. If the debt is down to bad management, then put in place good management. Whatever happens, these debts must be paid off by the government so that funds for medical care go into medical care, not debt repayments. Watford needs a new hospital. The NHS can't even think of building a new one while they have debts and so they have no plans for for a new hospital in Watford. Worse still, if the LibDems and Tories have their way, we will have a housing estate so vast that there will be no room for a new hospital, ever. We (UKIP) have pledged to halt the building and establish the requirements for a new hospital before any other building takes place. We believe this is the common sense approach. We would also leave Farm Terrace allotments 100% intact and improve their protection. It seems far too easy for a greedy council to just grab allotments and build houses on them. That can't be right, and the law agrees with us. Stop the greed. Build a new hospital in the future. Vote UKIP. Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford
  • Score: 3

7:20am Thu 15 May 14

Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford says...

bishopofwatford wrote:
Well this doesnt look good for the " health campus". Still i wonder what the farm terrace allotments are valued at ...that might fill a financial hole !!
The budgets are not compatible. Money from the Farm Terrace land grab cannot be used towards paying off NHS debts or put towards a new hospital.

It's a housing estate, pure and simple. Why won't the current Mayor admit that?
[quote][p][bold]bishopofwatford[/bold] wrote: Well this doesnt look good for the " health campus". Still i wonder what the farm terrace allotments are valued at ...that might fill a financial hole !![/p][/quote]The budgets are not compatible. Money from the Farm Terrace land grab cannot be used towards paying off NHS debts or put towards a new hospital. It's a housing estate, pure and simple. Why won't the current Mayor admit that? Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford
  • Score: 4

7:57am Thu 15 May 14

TRT says...

I see Labour's election broadcast was filmed at Watford General...
I see Labour's election broadcast was filmed at Watford General... TRT
  • Score: 3

11:57am Thu 15 May 14

UKIP-pal says...

WE need to love the NHS and fund it properly so that it ca love and look after us our parents and our kids, our brothers and sisters and strangers too.

All this bitterness and nonsense around trusts and division about where the hospitial should be, will destroy it, we need now to love the NHS, give it stability and a home or we might as well revert to the Workhouse the proceeded it, that proceeded the creation of the NHS and welfare state in 1948.
A socialist masterpiece powered by love as much as money and to which we shall return when we dismiss the doubt, fear and privatisation agenda of parties like UKIP, the Torys and Libdem.
These parties nee to have the light of love shone on them, need to reflect on what the NHS has done for them and then return the love.
As side issues they might want to ask do we want the Hospital where it is with local shops gathered around, from which allsorts can be bought for loved ones at allsorts of hours Also do we want it to stay next to the allotments so that the background is as much about birdsong and butterflies as traffic. Do we want to tie the hospital to riding roughshod over peoples love and nurturing of the soil?
And are we going to let our lack of love let the NHS be stolen from under our noses for private profit
WE need to love the NHS and fund it properly so that it ca love and look after us our parents and our kids, our brothers and sisters and strangers too. All this bitterness and nonsense around trusts and division about where the hospitial should be, will destroy it, we need now to love the NHS, give it stability and a home or we might as well revert to the Workhouse the proceeded it, that proceeded the creation of the NHS and welfare state in 1948. A socialist masterpiece powered by love as much as money and to which we shall return when we dismiss the doubt, fear and privatisation agenda of parties like UKIP, the Torys and Libdem. These parties nee to have the light of love shone on them, need to reflect on what the NHS has done for them and then return the love. As side issues they might want to ask do we want the Hospital where it is with local shops gathered around, from which allsorts can be bought for loved ones at allsorts of hours Also do we want it to stay next to the allotments so that the background is as much about birdsong and butterflies as traffic. Do we want to tie the hospital to riding roughshod over peoples love and nurturing of the soil? And are we going to let our lack of love let the NHS be stolen from under our noses for private profit UKIP-pal
  • Score: 3

2:00pm Thu 15 May 14

Andrew1963 says...

A lot of the problems is down to the changes introduced that saw the PCT abolished and new commission created by the Lib Dem/Tory coalition government . Guess what the organisations had their budgets cut, so they commission less care from Watford general. Good job it was a mild winter akll the defecit would be even bigger. Note by the way the money to pay for the road is needed to keep the hospital running. did you know that Mayor Thornhill knew about that 18 months ago and agreed to use Watford council money to pay the Hospitals contribution towards building the new link Road? In effect she gave the hospital an unsecured loan. If the hospital goes bust, that £5 million will never be recouped. No wonder the council is desperate to make as much as it can by building on the allotments. it might need that extra money to plug its coffers having lost the hospitals contribution. And note by the way how easy it was for a government loan for the road to be used to stop the hospital going bust this year! Things could turn out very badly if Watford is forced to merge with another Hospital Trust, who could then decide that a crumbling hospital surrounded by 700 new homes is actually not a place to invest in, but a place to get rid of to complete the 'regeneration of west Watford' with the hospital replaced with 100's more flats and clinical facilities based elsewhere
A lot of the problems is down to the changes introduced that saw the PCT abolished and new commission created by the Lib Dem/Tory coalition government . Guess what the organisations had their budgets cut, so they commission less care from Watford general. Good job it was a mild winter akll the defecit would be even bigger. Note by the way the money to pay for the road is needed to keep the hospital running. did you know that Mayor Thornhill knew about that 18 months ago and agreed to use Watford council money to pay the Hospitals contribution towards building the new link Road? In effect she gave the hospital an unsecured loan. If the hospital goes bust, that £5 million will never be recouped. No wonder the council is desperate to make as much as it can by building on the allotments. it might need that extra money to plug its coffers having lost the hospitals contribution. And note by the way how easy it was for a government loan for the road to be used to stop the hospital going bust this year! Things could turn out very badly if Watford is forced to merge with another Hospital Trust, who could then decide that a crumbling hospital surrounded by 700 new homes is actually not a place to invest in, but a place to get rid of to complete the 'regeneration of west Watford' with the hospital replaced with 100's more flats and clinical facilities based elsewhere Andrew1963
  • Score: 5

7:29pm Thu 15 May 14

WatfordTed says...

Its time for a UKIP Watford to sort out the imigrants, the housing going to non British, the hospital being used by scroungers who don't work and for housing going to people that hate this country like some ethnic people.

Vote UKIP on the 22nd
Its time for a UKIP Watford to sort out the imigrants, the housing going to non British, the hospital being used by scroungers who don't work and for housing going to people that hate this country like some ethnic people. Vote UKIP on the 22nd WatfordTed
  • Score: 0

10:43pm Thu 15 May 14

UKIP-pal says...

WatfordTed wrote:
Its time for a UKIP Watford to sort out the imigrants, the housing going to non British, the hospital being used by scroungers who don't work and for housing going to people that hate this country like some ethnic people.

Vote UKIP on the 22nd
oh you are desperatly in need of love so hear have a (((hug))). not to sure if that will do here have another (((hug))) and another (((hug)))
somehow I think tha my work will take some time with you, but I see I have had an effect allready your biterness is being directed at scroungers who don't work that is lazy people like these:-
http://www.dailymail
.co.uk/news/article-
2626937/Ukip-MEPs-la
ziest-Europe-missing
-debates-Cameron-war
ns-UK-needs-politici
ans-turn-up.html.
Now they need our understanding and love they need a Pal they need UKIP_pal and UKIP_pal is there for them even if they hate this wonderfull tolerant, multi cultural country with its Romano Britains, Angles, Saxons , Vickings, Normans, Scots, Welsh, Dutch, Germans Irish and all sorts.
We even a a Queen whose proper familey name is Sax-coburg-Gotha and who married a Greek so yes my love goes out to those that hate this country so much that they want it to be out of Eorope.
[quote][p][bold]WatfordTed[/bold] wrote: Its time for a UKIP Watford to sort out the imigrants, the housing going to non British, the hospital being used by scroungers who don't work and for housing going to people that hate this country like some ethnic people. Vote UKIP on the 22nd[/p][/quote]oh you are desperatly in need of love so hear have a (((hug))). not to sure if that will do here have another (((hug))) and another (((hug))) somehow I think tha my work will take some time with you, but I see I have had an effect allready your biterness is being directed at scroungers who don't work that is lazy people like these:- http://www.dailymail .co.uk/news/article- 2626937/Ukip-MEPs-la ziest-Europe-missing -debates-Cameron-war ns-UK-needs-politici ans-turn-up.html. Now they need our understanding and love they need a Pal they need UKIP_pal and UKIP_pal is there for them even if they hate this wonderfull tolerant, multi cultural country with its Romano Britains, Angles, Saxons , Vickings, Normans, Scots, Welsh, Dutch, Germans Irish and all sorts. We even a a Queen whose proper familey name is Sax-coburg-Gotha and who married a Greek so yes my love goes out to those that hate this country so much that they want it to be out of Eorope. UKIP-pal
  • Score: 2

9:05am Fri 16 May 14

#UKMum says...

Where is the Tory MP right now? We have paid NI for years to fund the NHS. We still pay NI but yet there is no NI funding for Hospital Development. Richard Harrington talked it up big; had Jeremy Hunt do a shift at Watford Gen for publicity etc. All hot air. When you need hot air instead of hard cash - Harrington's your man.
Where is the Tory MP right now? We have paid NI for years to fund the NHS. We still pay NI but yet there is no NI funding for Hospital Development. Richard Harrington talked it up big; had Jeremy Hunt do a shift at Watford Gen for publicity etc. All hot air. When you need hot air instead of hard cash - Harrington's your man. #UKMum
  • Score: 2

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