Bromley NHS Trust ‘Meltdown’

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Bromley Hospitals NHS Trust plans to close wards and sack hundreds of staff in a bid to save £23 million in a year, in the face of ‘debts’ of £99 million.

The trust provides the services at the Princess Royal University Hospital, Orpington Hospital and Beckenham Hospital.

The November 1 Trust Board meeting was presented with a 2007/08 Recovery Plan for approval.

The Board minutes say: ‘Further work is required to develop specific schemes to address the whole £23 million gap between income and expenditure.’

The financial recovery plan stresses: ‘Any expenditure reduction must be staff based (as the Trust spends 70 per cent of its budget on staff) with the current estimate of a reduction of 10 per cent workforce cost reduction.

‘Redundancy costs will be incurred in 2007-08 and this cost will have to be offset against the total in year saving.’

The Recovery Plan report warns that the ‘plan will be extended into 2008-09 over the next month.’

It notes: ‘It is recognised that the Trust provides good clinical services and has achieved most of the recent performance targets and standards.’

But the report states: ‘The financial position of the Trust is summarised below:

• 2005-06 deficit of £13m with cumulative cash borrowings of £62.7m

• 2006-07 deficit of £10.1m with cumulative cash borrowings of £87m

• Predicted 2007-08 most likely case deficit of £9m with predicted cumulative cash borrowings of £99m.’

The report adds: ‘The work to date has identified three categories for the Recovery plan.

‘These categories will be sub-divided into the three themes of control, efficiency/productivity and change;

• Technical adjustments £5m (Notably increased financial control, balance sheet review, cost pressure management, release of reserves, budget challenge)

• Protection/increasing income £4m (Notably protecting income at risk from Commissioners and increasing income not previously collected)

• Reduction in expenditure £14m (Notably identification of savings work streams to reduce expenditure, primarily on staff).

• Total £23m.’