Ipswich: Hospital facing fines of up to £1million for missing key targets
PUBLISHED: 12:16 26 November 2013 | UPDATED: 12:16 26 November 2013
Ipswich Hospital is facing fines totalling up to £1m for failing to meet key targets since April – while it continues to battle growing multi-million pound debts, the EADT can reveal.
The latest figure relates to what fines have been incurred by the trust and those that could potentially be dished out by the Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) for falling short of contractual standards for access.
Bosses at the Heath Road trust say they hope any funds they are fined will be reinvested into the hospital for the benefit of patients
Officials at the watchdog, Healthwatch Suffolk, have said they will keep a close eye on the situation.
Among the targets the trust has fallen short on include those relating to A&E waiting times and admission times for stroke patients.
A spokeswoman for Ipswich Hospital said: “The CCG, who are our commissioners, are entitled to apply those fines under the contract we have with them. We are currently in negotiations with the CCG to make sure fines are reinvested in the best interests of the patients.”
Annie Topping, chief executive of Healthwatch Suffolk, added: “From the patients’ perspective, it will be important to ensure the fines are directed to help the hospital to improve its services and achieve its quality targets.
“Clearly this is the decision of the clinical commissioning group, and Healthwatch Suffolk will be monitoring the impact of the fines on patient experience.”
The latest figures have been released in a set of papers ahead of the trust board’s monthly meeting, which is due to take place on Thursday.
In addition to the fines, the papers have also shown that the cash deficit being shouldered by the trust rose to £5.5m by the end of October – £300,000 more than the previous month.
Last month, officials at the hospital said they were considering a host of cost-cutting measures, which included scaling back the amount of money spent on temporary and agency staff.
The possibility of taking out a £3m loan to plug the deepening financial blackhole has previously been mooted, as well.