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Staffordshire hospital admits it faces "tough" financial challenge

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: July 24, 2014

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The health trust due to take over some of Stafford Hospital’s services in the autumn has admitted it faces a "tough financial challenge" after being referred to the Health Secretary because of concerns over its finances.

But a spokesman for the University Hospital of North Staffordshire Trust said it "would not be compromising" on the quality of care.

UHNS is one of 19 health organisations where concerns are being raised by auditors because they have failed to break even and do not have robust enough plans to balance their books in future.

Not only did the 19 trusts fail to break even in the 2013/14 financial year, they were also unable to convince the Audit Commission they could put their problems right in the medium term.

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Audit Commission controller Marcine Waterman said the findings were "worrying".

However, a UHNS spokesman said: “Last year the trust reduced its planned deficit from £31.7m to £19.3m and we have plans to return to surplus in the forthcoming years.

“This improved position was achieved despite the additional cost of the new hospital and the requirement to retain other parts of the estate due to significant activity pressures.

"We face a tough financial challenge, but it must be emphasised that we will not be compromising on services or the quality of care which UHNS provides to the local population,

Meanwhile the BMA, the organisation representing doctors, has warned the NHS is "starting to buckle" because of lack of investment.

Dr Mark Porter, chairman of the BMA Council, said: “The message is stark and clear - without urgent investment in frontline services and real action to put the health service on a sustainable financial footing for the future, the NHS simply will not be able to cope."

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  • Andy54  |  July 30 2014, 12:10PM

    Get all the fingers out of the pie and all the funding problems in the NHS will vanish.