Fears as local acute health trust is expected to go £74million in the red - The Redditch Standard
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9th Aug, 2022

Fears as local acute health trust is expected to go £74million in the red

Ross Crawford 19th Mar, 2019

THE local acute health trust is £22million off its debt target and is expected to be £74million in the red by the end of this financial year.

The shock figures are revealed in the finance report which went before the board of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (WAHT) yesterday, Thursday, March 14.

The £22m hole in Trust finances is put down to its failure to hit its money-earning patient care targets, carry out sufficient cost improvements, increased demand for diagnostic services and paying premium rates to cover staff vacancies.

Meanwhile the findings of the latest Care Quality Commission report on the Trust, which looked at the Emergency Department at Worcestershire Royal and highlighted overcrowding as a major issue, are borne out by the statistics.

With a national target of seeing 95 per cent of patients within four hours of arrival to admission, transfer or discharge, in January the Trust managed just 71.5 per cent, with Accident and Emergency at the Alex marginally better than Worcestershire Royal.

In all, 4,493 patients broke was in breach of the four hour limit with 170 patients waiting more than 12 hours to be admitted after the decision to admit them.

Such stresses are reflected in the latest NHS staff survey which showed little change from last year’s lowly position.

Staff said the culture of the Trust needs to improve with the top three themes being excessive workloads, a lack of accountability, and a lack of trust between staff and senior managers.

Trust chiefs say a number of priority actions are being taken to address these issues.

There were some positives in the January figures – it beat the 93 per cent national target of potential cancer patients being seen by a specialist within two weeks.

More than 93 per cent of patients suffering from a broken hip – a fractured neck of femur – reached theatre within 36 hours, the highest rate in 12 months.

Elsewhere the Trust slipped up on Government targets, particularly on patients starting cancer treatment – target 85 per cent within 62 days, actual 62 per cent – and stroke patients being admitted to a stroke ward – target 90 per cent within four hours, actual just 25 per cent.

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