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Future of Wye Valley NHS Trust to be decided within next three months
WYE Valley NHS Trust (WVT), hailed just three years ago as the first integrated provider of NHS hospital, community and adult social care services in England, will have its now uncertain future decided within the next three months.
WVT faces a merger, break up, or even private sector management as it copes with a funding crisis that means it cannot achieve foundation trust status by next year - as required by the government.
This week, WVT confirmed that a business case for its future is due for presentation in January.
Earlier this year, the Trust board gave a go-ahead to exploring options now under consideration.
Amongst those options - developed with Trust stakeholders and partners - are: • WVT becoming the junior partner of a Trust which has already attained foundation Trust status - while keeping local accountability.
• Partnership with a private organisation with WVT run as a local franchise where all staff and assets would remain in the NHS and care free at the point of delivery.
• A break up with the Trust’s services run by a range of public and private sector providers
• The inclusion of primary care services such as GPs in the Trust, creating a “one-stop shop” for health.
• Increasing the number of patients WVT serves with a subsequent increase in income.
Last month, the Hereford Times revealed that WVT could not count on nearly £10m of lifeline funding coming its way as it fought for survival. Without that support, and facing a £15m deficit WVT is already on course for an overspend of at least £9m on this year’s budget alone.
WVT has required increasing levels of financial support over recent years just to reach a break even position, with £9.8m needed over 2012/13 alone.
In 2012 the Trust was declared as in “turnaround” to emphasise the urgency and scale of the financial challenges it faced.
The trust’s present and predicated future financial position means it cannot achieve foundation trust status by a government imposed deadline next year or anytime in the foreseeable future.
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