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Ipswich: Ipswich Hospital referred to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt over financial concerns

17:14 24 July 2014

The hospital, which has long battled debts worth millions of pounds, was one of 19 NHS trusts flagged up to Jeremy Hunt for failing to meet its statutory break-even duty for the last financial year.

The hospital, which has long battled debts worth millions of pounds, was one of 19 NHS trusts flagged up to Jeremy Hunt for failing to meet its statutory break-even duty for the last financial year.

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Ipswich Hospital has been referred to the Health Secretary over financial concerns, it can be revealed.

The hospital, which has long battled debts worth millions of pounds, was one of 19 NHS trusts flagged up to Jeremy Hunt for failing to meet its statutory break-even duty for the last financial year.

The hospital’s cumulative deficit was £3.3m at the end of 2013/14, down slightly from £3.4m in 2012/13.

Bosses at the Heath Road site last night insisted plans are in place to plug the financial black hole, return to a “sustainable surplus” and invest in services.

But they admitted a statutory break-even point – an assessment of its finances over a five-year period – is not expected until 2017.

It comes after the hospital was awarded £7.5m in bailout funds in January for proving to NHS England it was capable of making savings and becoming financially secure and sustainable.

It prompted the trust’s management to issue a bullish assessment of its finances following nine months of questions over spiralling debts. Before the cash injection, the trust was shouldering a deficit of £7.2m.

Last night, an Ipswich Hospital spokesman said the trust’s cash debt – in contrast to its cumulative deficit – had been cleared by the end of 2013/14. It was £3.3m at the end of the previous financial year.

In a statement, she said: “Breakeven duty is a performance measure of what our cumulative surplus/deficit is over a five-year period.

“This shows financial sustainability and how sustainable the Trust is. We have, for a number of years now, not met this duty although we have broken even.

“We have plans to return to surplus in future years but do not anticipate reaching a breakeven point until 2017. This does not represent a ‘debt’. When we did generate deficits we had to take out a cash loan to ensure we could pay our bills.

“This was re-payable over five years and we have repaid the final instalment of this last year. We are no longer in cash debt hence debt free.”

She added: “The key focus for improving the finances of (Ipswich Hospital) is to return to sustainable surplus and avoid requiring a cash loan going forward.

“We have plans to generate surpluses in the future and we expect to retain the cash from these surpluses for investment to support the improvement to services at (Ipswich Hospital).

“In pursuing this we will naturally achieve breakeven duty and be recognised as having a sustainable picture.”

Meanwhile, Ipswich Hospital will today hold its AGM.

3 comments

  • They are "going to naturally achieve break even duty and be recognised as having a sustainable picture." I don't know who is going to recognise her as having a sustainable picture, but I know many will recognise her as having a severe doublespeak problem. Having a sustainable 'picture' is not of course the same as having sustainable management costs, or even sustainable operating costs. A picture is not reality. A picture always lies. At best it only shows partial truth.

    Report this comment

    Jackaranda Rainbow

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • Salary of outgoing interim chief executive: http:www.ipswichstar.co.uknewsipswich_hospital_s_stand_in_boss_paid_739_a_day_1_1495804 I don't have information for the current CEO but we can assume it will be greater than £739day.

    Report this comment

    Jackaranda Rainbow

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • Can I assume that salaries of the senior executives at Ipswich hospital are performance related or am I just being naive?

    Report this comment

    how'd the town do

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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