Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has today (20 September 2016) announced a material change to its financial position.
This follows a high level independent review of its financial position and financial reporting arrangements which was commissioned by the Board following concerns raised at a number of levels within the Trust about its financial position and the deterioration of its cash reserves (the money it has available to spend).
The review concluded that the Trust’s financial position isn’t as strong as previously understood and is significantly worse than the balanced position previously reported.
The review found that changes to some key financial planning assumptions has offset an underlying loss of financial control and a failure to fully deliver cost improvement plans. The review also found the Trust had spent significantly more money developing and improving its equipment and buildings than it had available.
The Trust will not achieve its previously forecasted £5.3m surplus at the end of this financial year and although the exact amount is still to be confirmed, the Trust’s revised financial position is likely to be a material deficit. The position at the end of August shows a year to date deficit of £11.1m, which is £13.4m adverse of the Trust’s plan.
Deborah Lee, Chief Executive of the Trust and speaking on behalf of the Trust Board said:
“We deeply regret that the oversight of our finances wasn’t as strong as it should have been. We have taken immediate steps to stabilise the Trust’s financial position, for example, we have reviewed our immediate capital spending priorities (spending on buildings and equipment) and arranged a loan so we can access up to £20m to strengthen our immediate cash position.
“Patients should be reassured that our services continue to run as normal. Any patients who need treatment at Cheltenham General Hospital, Gloucestershire Royal Hospital or Stroud Maternity Unit should continue to access services in the same way they have always done.
“We are commissioning a full independent financial governance review to inform how we govern our finances going forward so this cannot happen again, and we will be putting a detailed action plan in place to bring our finances back on track.
“I firmly believe excellent quality of care and good financial health go hand in hand and am determined as a Trust we will meet the challenges ahead in order to continue to provide high quality, sustainable services for our patients.
“We also welcome the support of our main commissioner, Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, and the national regulator, NHS Improvement, who we will work closely with to resolve this situation.”
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