£5m deficit expected for Peterborough hospital trust after making large savings

The trust running Peterborough City Hospital says the financial position for 2020 is on track, but will still result in a £5.7 million deficit.

Saturday, 11th January 2020, 5:00 am

North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust (NAWFT), which is responsible for running Peterborough City, Hinchingbrooke and Stamford and Rutland hospitals, has reported that its financial position for 2020 is “on target”.

However, the trust says that this includes a “planned deficit” by the end of the year of £5.7 million which represents the difference between the figure where the national target setters for the NHS would like the trust’s spending to be, and where it actually is.

Trust chief executive Caroline Walker told members of Peterborough City Council’s Health Scrutiny Committee: “In the period April-November 2019 the trust planned to have a deficit of £14.8 million and this was achieved.  

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Peterborough City Hospital

“For the remainder of 2020 our plan is for a deficit of £5.7 million and we genuinely believe this too can be achieved.”

The trust recorded what was described at the time as an expected deficit of £33.1 million in August 2018, but by the end of that year it had actually increased to £61.5 million.

Ms Walker added: “Part of my role since taking on this job has been to reduce the deficit, and clearly the 2020 figures are an enormous improvement on the previous two financial years.

“This has only been possible through much hard work achieving an overall higher income, coupled with great cost savings, particularly in the last four months of 2019.”

Committee chair Cllr Kim Aitken said: “What makes you so confident your predicted deficit of £5.7 million is so achievable for this year when you were so far off with your figures in 2018/19?”

Ms Walker replied: “I think in the light of the increased income we have managed, coupled with the savings we have put in place, the figure is achievable.

“I know it sounds optimistic and £5.7 million is still a huge deficit, but I’m confident we can achieve this for the end of 2020.”

Overall, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Sustainability and Transformation Programme (STP), of which NAWFT is only a small part, had forecast a deficit for the year 2020/21 of £180 million.

“However, I can tell you that the new, expected figure for the STP in 2020/21 has been reduced to a deficit of £117 million,” Ms Walker added.

Robert Alexander, Local Democracy Reporting Service