Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 8°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Poll: West Suffolk Hospital misses out on £3m of A&E funding

10:00 14 January 2014

A hospital missed out on more than £3million of funding last year due to a controversial rule governing A&E care.

Bosses at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds have criticised the marginal rate rule after millions of pounds of cash was kept back under a Department of Health formula.

Under the rule, hospitals receive 100% of funding for treating A&E patients up to a baseline level, and then only 30% for any extra patients beyond the baseline figure.

The rest of the funding is handed to commissioners to invest in services to prevent patients attending A&E, such as GPs or primary care.

In 2012/13, the hospital was handed £1.4million for treating emergency admissions above the baseline, when it would have been awarded £4.5m under the full tariff. The equivalent figure was around £1m in the previous two years.

Craig Black, executive director of resources at the hospital, said: “Demand for our services is growing, with hospitals across the country treating increasing numbers of emergency patients every year. The marginal tariff, which is set nationally by the Department of Health, places us under additional pressure in what is already a challenging financial climate.”

The 30% marginal rate rule was introduced in 2010 over fears of the growing numbers attending A&E.

A poll by the Foundation Trust Network, which represents more than 200 NHS organisations, found that 96% of its members felt the money was not being reinvested effectively elsewhere.

NHS England and patient watchdog Monitor published a review of the rule last year and resolved to keep it for 2014/15, but with some changes. These include adjusting the baseline figures and asking for greater transparency and planning from commissioners on how the money is invested away from A&E.

Chris Hopson, chief executive of the Foundation Trust Network, said: “We are disappointed that this arbitrary penalty on hospitals remains. Monitor and NHS England are trying to have their cake and eat it – insisting that A&E targets are met, but requiring hospitals to treat increasing numbers of emergency admissions for just 30% of the cost of doing so.

“Paying hospitals for the full cost of all the patients they treat would have been the quickest, simplest and best way of solving these problems.”

Wendy Tankard, chief contracts officer for the NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, which commissions services and decides where money not spent in A&E is used, said: “The West Suffolk CCG follows national Department of Health guidance on payments made to West Suffolk Hospital for the treatment of emergency patients.”


Joe Snell (left) and Toby Halls

Two boys with “hearts of gold” will be handed a BBC Radio 1 teen hero award for their charity work in Sudbury on Sunday, following the death of their close friend when he was just 13.

Fundraisers at Sandman 2015. This year's event has been cancelled. Image: Kevin Bell

A fundraising event which had hoped to raise tens of thousands for an Essex hospice this weekend has been cancelled.

Corrie CCTV Screen

An abandoned van has been seized by police searching for missing RAF Honington serviceman Corrie McKeague, aged 23.

Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue team search for Corrie McKeague just outside Troston Slades Covert. Photo Mark Westley

Suffolk police officers are attempting to trace a group seen talking to Corrie McKeague at a pizza takeaway on the night of his disappearance.

Archie Joe Darby and Daniel-Jay Darby. Archie, four months, was killed and Daniel-Jay was seriously injured after being bitten by a dog at their Colchester home.

A four-month-old baby was snatched from his mother’s arms by the family dog and mauled to death, an inquest has heard.

Police were called to the crash

A man in his 30s is in hospital with serious injuries after a crash Stowmarket last night.

Ron Harris outside the first home he shared with his wife, Nina, at Shingle Street before the Second World War. Photo supplied for Life on the Edge by the Harris family.

It’s a place with tragedy and mystery in its past – but as many stories of resilient determination to build a community amid its wild and isolated environment.

Most read

Great Days Out


Click here to view
the Great Days Out


Most commented


Show Job Lists

Don't miss


Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24