9:00am Wednesday 14th August 2013
By Bill Tanner
CASH strapped Wye Valley NHS Trust (WVT) has been provided with a near-£10 million temporary borrowing limit to cover costs while it waits for another near £10m of lifeline financial support.
Phased in over the remaining months of the financial year, the temporary borrowing limit of £9.7m will ensure WVT has enough cash to keep going.
WVT is now dependant on another £9.7m in external funding still being finalised by the Department of Health (DoH). The trust says the funding is “vital” to avoiding a significant financial deficit.
The trust is already facing significant risk in delivering activity to the planned level with elective activity falling some way behind plan over the first three months of the year as cost and patient number pressures on A&E soared.
In April, with the hospital over capacity every day, 86 elective operations were cancelled to cope with high numbers of emergency patients needing surgery and treatment.
As reported by the Hereford Times, the hospital ran out of room with space for patients having to be found in specialist departments.
Figures for June show the trust’s year to date deficit rising to £900,000.
This increase included the assumption of £2.4m being available in external funding, without which the year to date deficit figure rises to £3.3m.
Projections put the full extent of WVT’s deficit at £15m, reduced only by that £9.7m being finalised by the DoH as regional support.
The trust’s financial plight means it cannot meet government required foundation trust status on its own and has to work on achieving that status in partnership with another organisation.
One option has WVT broken up and its services run by a range of public and private sector providers.
Against this background is the trust’s need to deliver £8.8m in cost improvement savings as a major component of its business plan and hit a surplus target of £600,000.
Last month, the WVT board was told turnaround actions were needed to prevent a deficit position repeating in the next nine month period with a surplus of £1.5m having to be found in future months to recover.
The business plan also makes provision for £2m to cover the risk of redundancy costs to be considered as the year goes on.
A request for additional emergency capital resources has now been approved, providing the trust with an additional £1.6m to help capital spending identified as necessary but not included in the capital programme due to the lack of available resources.
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