A ROW has broken out between Stafford health bosses over a £5million pledge.
Director of finance at Stafford Hospital, Aaron Cummins, told the Newsletter South Staffordshire Primary Care Trust agreed to funding arrangement in January 2012 during a meeting between the two organisations, the Department of Health, Monitor and the Strategic Health Authority to agree its current funding position and future arrangements.
“It should have been paid by the PCT to the trust in the period from April 2012 and fully received by March 31 2013,” he said. “To date we haven’t received any of that and there is now a disagreement over how much of it should be received at all.
Mr Cummins said the PCT had made an offer of £3million but that amount just wasn’t enough.
"If they offered us £4.5million it would not be enough, we have services to deliver and they were set with that £5million in our plans,” he said.
Mr Cummins said the trust was now being told there criteria they had to meet to qualify for the cash but these criteria had not been in place when the agreement was made.
“We did get notified in November of what those criteria were after I had been asking since September, but they were very vague and subjective,” he said.
“This puts us a real risk of delivering on our financial targets for this year,” he said. “This trust has delivered on all of its promises to its commissioners this year including financial sustainability, improvements in clinical quality, 18 week referral to treatment times and we are delivering safe and efficient A&E with 95 per cent of patients waiting no more than four hours in the department the majority of the time.”
He said the trust had the option to go to formal arbitration over the disputed sum but they were not taking that up at this point and instead a letter was being sent by chief executive Lyn Hill-Tout to the PCT’s chief executive Graham Irwin.
A spokesman for the PCT said: “Discussions are ongoing between the Trust, Clinical Commissioning Group and the Staffordshire Cluster of PCTs regarding this matter, to bring it to a satisfactory resolution.”