Ipswich: Hospital finances getting back on track, say chiefs

HOSPITAL bosses are today confident financial problems which have hampered Ipswich Hospital will not result in the trust being put in special measures by the government.

The claims come in response to the news that South London Healthcare NHS Trust is the first trust in the country to be put under the control of a special administrator.

The trust, which runs three hospitals, has been criticised over standards of care and run up deficits of more than �150million in the last three years. A further 20 health trusts across the country could also find themselves in special measures, according to the Department of Health.

Among those is Suffolk Mental Health Trust – which no longer exists after merging with colleagues in Norfolk at the start of this year. Reacting to the news, Ipswich Hospital’s interim chief executive Nigel Beverley said the Heath Road trust is in a “very different situation” to the London trust, despite its debts, which last year spiralled to �11m.

He said: “Yes we have financial challenges but they are resolvable, we are getting the trust back on track and back on the Foundation Trust application track.

“Obviously part of the process is making sure we are in a sound financial position going forward.”

After merging with Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, Suffolk’s mental health service, now known as Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, said it is back on a firm financial footing.

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The trust’s director of finance, Andrew Hopkins, said part of the rationale for the merger was to reduce financial risks plaguing the Suffolk trust. He said: “The merger between Suffolk Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust and Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust has been widely supported by the local community.

“The merger was several months in the planning and took place on January 1.

“Since this time the new Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust has performed well financially, which, in turn, has benefited clinical outcomes and patient safety. The report refers to a historic situation which is no longer relevant to our trust.”

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