Health bosses outline savings plans

HEALTH bosses facing multi-million pound debts have outlined their plans to make savings.The new management team of Mid Essex Primary Care Trust is facing debts of more than £20million but has pledged to be back in the black in 2008.

HEALTH bosses facing multi-million pound debts have outlined their plans to make savings.

The new management team of Mid Essex Primary Care Trust is facing debts of more than £20million but has pledged to be back in the black in 2008.

And in a bid to ensure that it spends within its means in the future, the trust employed a team of turnaround specialists from KPMG whose recommendations are now being implemented.

The new plans are aimed at making the best use of NHS resources to meet the needs of people in Mid Essex.


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They include the provision of more services in the community and increasing the use of community hospitals and giving patients the opportunity to stop smoking before they undergo surgery, as reported in the East Anglian Daily Times yesterday.

Plans would also see a reduction in the reliance on acute services, unless clinically necessary and the “better use” of medicines.

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The new approach will be combined with a 20% cut in PCT management costs, details of which are contained in the full report on the trust's website.

Trust chief executive Sheila Bremner said: “It is vital that we get the local health economy back on to a stable footing. This plan will enable us to begin the process and ensure that we can focus on improving the health of our population whilst living within our means in future.”

The three predecessor primary care organisations which merged earlier this year started the current financial year with combined debts of £20.9 million.

Based on the savings set out in the plan, Mid Essex PCT is forecasting to reduce this by March 31, 2007 to £20.1m and the repayment of all debt in 2008.

Earlier this week, Chelmsford MP Simon Burns questioned the scheme to help patients stop smoking before their operations, and said that the PCT must put the health of its patients first.

Mr Burns, MP for West Chelmsford, said: “I would urge the PCT, when determining policy, that it must be motivated by health and clinical criteria and that financial considerations must not play a part in the decision-making process. This must be a health related decision and not a money saving decision to help them eliminate their deficit.”

The plan is available for public viewing on the PCT's website at www.midessexpct.nhs.uk.

elliot.furniss@eadt.co.uk

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