A TOTAL of £26.5million needs to be injected into Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust to ensure it can continue to pay its bills.
The money is needed as a result of the £14.2million deficit the Trust ended the last financial year with and the £9.8million of debt it is expected to run up by the end of March next year.
The Trust has already taken out a loan of £12million from the government in 2012 as it was short of cash as a result of the £18million historic deficit due to overspending in the early 2000s.
Conversations are underway with the Trust Development Authority about the amount of support required but the money is likely to come in the form of a long-term loan from the Department of Health or through Public Dividend Capital – an interest only loan and only repayable if the Trust has the money.
The Government has already approved temporary loans of £4million for April with another £5.75million set to be borrowed in May and June while a permanent solution is finalised.
The £9.8million deficit the Trust is forecasting for this year is partly because deals to pay them more money for teaching and ensuring they are fully paid for additional patients treated through A&E above contracted levels, are being phased in over three years.
Chris Tidman, the Trust’s director of resources, said with that money factored in the actual deficit was £3.8million and was a result of having to continue to run paediatrics, maternity and A&E services at both Redditch and Worcester, which would be resolved through the reconfiguration project.
“We operate a number of services over a number of sites at the moment and that was one of the issues around reconfiguration, not just clinical safety.” he said.
“After re-organisation I’d expect us to address that level of deficit.”