Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 15°C

Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news here.

Bury St Edmunds: West Suffolk Hospital finance chief calls for more control on temporary staff spending after £150,000 spike

06:00 26 April 2014

West Suffolk Hospital

West Suffolk Hospital

Archant

West Suffolk Hospital’s finance chief has vowed to tackle its spending on temporary nurses and other medical staff after a busy month at the hospital caused a six-figure spike in its bill.

March’s spending on temporary staff at the hospital soared by £150,000 on the previous month, with the equivalent of nearly 40 full-time nurses and other medical staff from agencies being drafted in to cope with high levels of activity.

Like many district general hospitals, West Suffolk is facing unprecedented financial pressures, with both health watchdog Monitor and the West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) expressing fears about its financial sustainability.

And while changes have already been made to ease its reliance on comparatively expensive temporary staff, West Suffolk’s executive director of resources, Craig Black, told yesterday’s board meeting that controlling the bill was imperative to the hospital’s financial future.

He said: “We do need to continue work on controlling pay, and our temporary pay in particular. That will be an important part of hitting the budget for 2014/15.”

Despite the high levels of activity, its income for March was slightly under what was budgeted, while its pay costs were £1.1million over budget.

Mr Black said this was because it was the last month of the financial year and that a lot of activity had been emergency admissions, for which it receives only 30% of funding above a baseline level.

He added that Nichole Day, executive chief nurse at the hospital, was undertaking a detailed study of ward nursing costs, which he hoped would lead to “a much closer correlation between activity and nursing spend”.

Mr Black said: “I think we need to replicate that with medical spend, so you should see that our expenditure on temporary medical staff, again you see a much closer correlation.

“I think there’s some control that we need to put in place.”

He added that the hospital’s finance team was meeting with professional services specialists PwC on a weekly basis, and that some early work between the two “would suggest that we could benefit from more controls around temporary medical expenditure”.

As well as working towards reducing temporary costs in areas such as nursing, the hospital now employs 30 more consultants than it did in 2009.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Black said: “Having access to temporary staff allows us to flexibly respond to increases in demand. We constantly monitor our use of temporary staff, and overall our expenditure in this area is lower than other hospitals.”

A spokeswoman from Monitor said the watchdog had concerns with the hospital’s “sustainability and financial governance”, adding: “The trust is providing us with further information, which we will assess before deciding on the next steps to ensure the trust is providing quality care for its patients in a financially sustainable way.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ipswich Star visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ipswich Star staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ipswich Star account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Ipswich Crown Court.

Police have praised the “immense courage” of a child sex victim after her abuser was jailed for 17 years for a catalogue of offences.

Suffolk Rape Crisis is a small charity in Ipswich that supports female victims of sexual violence. 
It is facing a major financial shortage and may have to stop its services unless it can get some extra funding. 
Some of the staff have pulled together and decided to launch a crowdfunding appeal, which will start on Monday. 
L-R Helen Taylor,Louise Hayward,Selina Wagstaff,Shane Begby,Chris Nightingale.

The only charity in Suffolk that supports women and girls who have experienced sexual violence is today launching a crowdfunding appeal as it faces a looming financial crisis.

Inspector Julian Ditcham with the Drager Alcotest tests a motorist.

A drink-driver was more than four times the legal limit when police caught him in Bury St Edmunds, a court heard.

Woodbridge Regatta and Riverside Fair. Pictured is Paul Webster.

Kicking off with midday hymns and culminating in the famous ‘Duck Dive’ – it could only be the return of a riverside town’s historic regatta.

Nitro Circus Live at Foxhall Stadium.

Fans have been left upset and out of pocket after they claim they were turned away from a stunt show because of bad weather - only to find the event went ahead slightly later than scheduled.

Parade to mark the opening of the Southwold Arts Festival

The circus rolled up to a Suffolk seaside town for the launch of an annual festival featuring some ‘big top’ names from the world of art, literature, music and dance.

The Pigs Gone Wild trail covers key Ipswich landmarks

There were shrieks of delightthis morning as children scrambled over concrete plinths holding some exciting new additions to Ipswich town centre.

Will Young at Newmarket Nights - photos by Simon Traylen

Evergreen pop star Will Young showed he remains a hit with fans as crowds flocked to see him perform at Newmarket racecourse.

Race for Life in Nowton Park, Bury St Edmunds has been cancelled due to heavy rain overnight.

Today’s Race for Life event in Bury St Edmunds has been cancelled due to heavy raining and flooding at Nowton Park.

Dougie and Sheila Gedny with their daughter Linda Main at the completion of Upper Abbey Farmhouse at Leiston.

A Suffolk woman has returned to the house where she was born more than 70 years ago to see it fully restored following a fire.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24