Lincolnshire hospitals trust is given £26.4 million bail-out

Grantham Hospital.
Grantham Hospital.
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The trust in charge of Grantham Hospital had to get a £26.4 million bail-out from the Government to cover an overspend in 2013/14.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust was one of 15 NHS bodies that bidded for extra Government cash.

The application covered £24.5 million that the trust had to spend to fund new doctors and nurses after being placed in ‘special measures’ by minister Jeremy Hunt.

It also needed £1.9 million to be able to buy a piece of equipment to help with cancer treatments that it could not have otherwise afforded.

The trust had received temporary payments which meant it did not run up a deficit in 2011/12 and 2012/13 after posting £13.8 million debts for 2010/11.

The details of the bid were made public after a Freedom of Information request by the Health Services Journal.

A trust spokesman explained: “In 2013/14 the trust operated at a financial deficit. The deficit was higher than that planned at the beginning of the year because of higher levels of spend on doctors and nurses throughout the year.

“For example, we employed over 100 more nurses than in the previous year. Following the report of Sir Bruce Keogh’s visiting team we put a lot of our focus on making rapid improvements in the quality of our care and, as a consequence we didn’t make the levels of cost reductions we had planned at the beginning of the year.

“The trust was successful in securing additional cash from the Department of Health in March 2014 to cover the deficit, which allows the trust to continue to pay bills and our staff, and deliver high quality services. Prior to March 2014 the trust had been receiving temporary cash support from the Department of Health. Looking forward the trust needs to eliminate the deficit over time and is working alongside our health and care partners in Lincolnshire Health and Care to do this.”

The trust will soon reveal plans to save £105 million in the next five years.

The trust runs the Grantham Hospital as well as hospitals in Lincoln and Boston with a turnover of £425 million in 2013/14.

It has 7,500 staff and 1,090 beds and serves more than 700,000 people.