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"Significant Savings" Required At Treliske

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Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 7:04am 25th November 2014

Pirate FM has learnt Cornwall's biggest hospital is overspending by more than a million pounds a month.

Bosses will be told it is likely to represent a "material financial risk" and they need to make "significant savings" in the next five months.

It is being blamed on seeing more patients - and trouble recruiting enough staff.

The news that the hospital's long-running financial recovery plan has slipped badly off target is contained in board papers, ahead of a meeting on Thursday.

They reveal that the hospital has slipped to the second lowest possible internal NHS rating, meaning officials will find it harder to borrow money to fund building and refurbishment work.

The Deputy Director of Finance writes: "Under Monitor's Risk Assessment Framework the overall financial rating score has now declined to a 2 which is as a direct consequence of the continued over spending
against budget within the divisions. Monitor's Risk Assessment Framework describes a level 2 rating as 'likely to represent a material level of financial risk.'"

The overspending by clinical services alone is around £1.25m a month.

Joe McKenna from Health Initiative Cornwall told Pirate FM: "The fact they're overspending doesn't worry me in the first instance - it's just proof positive they never had the money to go ahead and deliver those services. What I'm more worried about is some accountant stepping in and saying, 'You've got to stop spending completely.'

And he warned cutting the hospital's investment programme from £23.6m to £17.8m could backfire: "It's a horrifying situation because the capital programme is your future - it's the buildings, it's the additional wards, it's better equipment.

"If they're having to reduce that spend against what they would like to do it certainly doesn't bode well for Cornwall's future, as far as healthcare is concerned."

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