Hospital trust bosses make £16m savings for Hartlepool and Stockton

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A HOSPITAL Trust has achieved savings of £16m over the last financial year as it looks to make total cuts worth £40m.

The North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, which runs hospitals in Hartlepool and Stockton, made the savings for the year up to March 31 through efficiency savings, slashing energy costs and saving money on the procurement process.

The cost improvement programme (CIP) target for 2012-13 as part of the trust’s £40m Challenge was £15.899m and that has been achieved which has led hospital chiefs to label the financial performance as “very positive”.

There were no compulsory redundancies despite the huge savings.

Despite the savings, financial figures show an over spend on pay budgets of £381,000 and over spend on non-pay budgets of £498,000 to the end of March.

A report by Lynne Hodgson, director of finance, information and technology, to a trust board meeting, said: “Financial performance is very positive for 2012-13, the trust has achieved all its financial targets.”

The trust also announced an operating surplus of £3.9m, which was achieved partly thanks to unplanned income owed by local commissioners including the primary care trust, which has been replaced by the Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

Chairman Paul Garvin said: “I wouldn’t want to out a dampener on the surplus but I would not want the organisation to think that everything in the garden is rosy and we have loads of cash.

“The winding up of the PCT has masked some underlying realities and it is still tough out there and we need to keep a grip.”

Back in 2011, the trust announced that it needs to save £40m over the following three years from its £260m budget.

As part of the “£40m Challenge” every money-saving possibility is being explored including transforming services, reducing beds, reducing energy bills, building the new £300m hospital at Wynyard and bringing in more income.

Savings worth £16.5m have been made the previous year by changing the procurement process and making management staff cuts, as previously reported.

The new hospital would replace the University Hospital of Hartlepool and the University Hospital of North Tees.