Strikes and the increasing costs of drugs and devices have contributed to York hospital trust’s growing deficit that could hit £40m if no action is taken.
York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s deficit has grown to £11.8m and its board of directors were told that could almost quadruple if without intervention.
This has led to the trust’s finance director, Andrew Bertram, to make a plea to NHS England for more money to help deal with its growing financial problems.
“I’ve made an approach for emergency cash and we are in discussion with NHS England who has, not unexpectedly, asked lots of questions,” Mr Bertram said.
“I expect either recognition that it’s beyond our control to resolve or some compensation from NHS England.”
Warning the board, Mr Bertram added: “If we do nothing, we are heading for a £40m deficit as an organisation.
“That will not be the position we will be in; I’m really keen to stress that.
“It is likely that we will bring that £12m down to £6m or £7m by the end of the year.”
Cost of strikes
The affects of industrial action have lost the trust £1,655,000 in income and there have been £660,000 in additional net costs to ensure adequate and safe staffing levels.
Agency spending to cover vacancies is at an overspend of £2.6m.
Furthermore, drugs and devices that were previously contracted on a pass-through basis are now subject to tariffs, which Mr Bertram said “is heading for a £10m problem for us as an organisation.”
He added: “There’s no flexibility.
“These things are hitting us and are hitting us hard.”
The group’s cash plan for 2023/24 is for the cash balance to reduce from £50.3m at the end of March 2023 to £40.6m at the end of March 2024, with the planned I&E deficit being a key driver in the reduced balance.
Mr Bertram is also asking departments within the trust where money is being “wasted” rather than asking them where they can “save money” in a change of approach to bring the deficit down.