Royal Bolton Hospital’s £8 million deficit crisis
7:18am Friday 5th October 2012 in News
THE Royal Bolton Hospital is almost £8 million in the red — and bosses expect the deficit to stand at more than £12 million by the end of this financial year.
And they have warned the “worst case scenario” could see this figure rise to more than £16 million.
The struggling Bolton NHS Foundation Trust’s chairman David Wakefield delivered the figures to its board yesterday and admitted the trajectory “does not look great”.
He said the plan was to be no more than £12.1 million in deficit by April, 2013.
The hospital has also been given a cash hand-out by the Government’s Department of Health of £8.3 million to last until the end of December Mr Wakefield told the board: “As we stand, the deficit will be about £8 million, but we thought we would be at £5 million now. We are £700,000 behind the plan on income and the cash balance at the end of the month is £3.3 million above the plan, at £6.7 million.
“If we did nothing we would be £16 million overspent, we would have run out of cash.
“Clearly we are going to do something to address the current spending and get some help with cash.”
It is the first time the Trust Board meeting has been held in public. Mr Wakefield reassured the board that the Trust’s immediate financial concerns, including paying bills and wages, has been resolved but emphasised the cash facility still had to be resolved.
This is the worst deficit reported by the hospital in the last decade.
In 2004, the Royal Bolton Hospital was £3.7 million in debt and in 2006, the Trust had a deficit of £6.4 million.
Wendy Hull, the interim Director of Finance, who replaced Gary Raphael after he left the Trust by mutual agreement last month, said the hospital had received approved funding from the Department of Health.
She said: “I can’t emphasise how exceptional this is, to go to the Department of Health rather than the PCT.
“The support we have had is quite exceptional, the people of Bolton should not be worried because it has been a priority for us to secure that cash and having secured it the work in the hospital goes on.”
But she added the support given by the Department of Health and Monitor was “a mark of the seriousness that the Trust is in”.
She said: “We are forecasting a higher than £12 million deficit.
“We are presenting the worst case scenario. Obviously we have to now deliver on these plans and start to see some real improvements.”
Mr Wakefield was appointed as interim chairman of the Trust in August by Monitor after the health watchdog issued a damning report about the Trust’s finances and placed it under “red risk”.
Monitor took the unusual step of intervening in the Trust, the first time it has done so this financial year, and told hospital chiefs to appoint a Turnaround Director and external advisers to create a “robust recovery plan”.
Shortly after the watchdog’s intervention it was announced an internal investigation was under way after £3.8 million was unaccounted for at the Trust.