Hartlepool health trust has deficit of over Â£7million
The trust which operates University Hospital of Hartlepool has a deficit of almost Â£7.5million, according to new figures.
North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation reported a deficit of £7.39million for the financial year 2015/16.
NHS trusts nationally ended the last financial year a record £2.45billion in deficit, prompting a warning that patient care will begin to suffer without rapid action to tackle health service finances.
The deficit was revealed in NHS Improvement’s quarter four financial and performance figures.
Bosses at the trust say that almost £8million of savings had to be made over the past year.
Chief executive of the trust Alan Foster said: “Once again this year we have around £7.9million of efficiencies to find.
“We are taking a number of steps such as looking at the changing needs of the services and not always recruiting like for like when someone leaves the trust.
“We have a track record of good performance, but the whole system is under pressure.
“We have done much to achieve the efficiencies required of us over the years, however the longer we are required to make these levels of savings the more challenging they become to achieve.
“However, we will work together across the organisation to make sure we can be as financially efficient as possible without compromising quality or patient care.”
Jim Mackey, chief executive of NHS Improvement, said: “Today’s figures demonstrate that through programmes such as the Financial Improvement Programme and the measures to reduce spending on agency staff, we are starting to help providers make real progress.
“When we consider where we were six months ago, NHS providers have done a great job in reducing the planned deficit.
“The key now is for us all to work together to make the necessary improvements in 2016/17, to reduce any variations in the quality of care for patients, and to bring the NHS provider sector back into financial balance.”
But NHS Providers chief executive Chris Hopson said: “Today’s report reveals how the combination of increasing demand and the longest and deepest financial squeeze in NHS history is maxing out the health service.
“At the same time as treating the highest ever number of patients, NHS trusts are £2.4billion in the red, with 80% of providers in deficit.”