Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 13°C

Search

Ipswich: Chief exec speaks of shock at hospital’s finances and warns of tough times ahead

Nick Hulme, Chief Executive of Ipswich Hospital.

Nick Hulme, Chief Executive of Ipswich Hospital.

Archant

The chief executive of Ipswich Hospital has said the state of the trust’s finances gave him “a bit of a shock” when he took over exactly a year ago – and admitted there were still tough challenges ahead.

However Nick Hulme said that while the hospital faces some difficult times to overturn its deficit, he vowed to not compromise on patient care.

When Mr Hulme picked up the reins last year, he expected to find a well-run hospital delivering a good standard of care.

“What I discovered was the care is better than good,” he added. “But we are not consistent and we still get it wrong.

“In rare cases patients have experiences I wouldn’t want my family to have to go through.

“The finances were significantly worse than I thought which was a bit of a shock but if I was given the choice of the money was worse than the care, that’s what I would prefer.

“It would be more worrying if the care was not of a good quality.”

Earlier in the year the hospital received £7.5million from NHS England to help rectify its financial position.

Mr Hulme said: “We have some very robust plans going into next year. We have had some additional help this year which is an investment in our future rather than a bailout.

“The money we were given was not a loan. It was additional income to support our position this year.

“Next year we are planning to have a deficit of just over £5m and the year after we are planning a break even budget.

“Although we could have put in a break even budget this year, it would have required us to find more savings, and following discussions with clinicians, I don’t believe we could have achieved that without risk to patient care and I’m not prepared to condone any savings to risk that.

“It’s dependent on delivering a similar level of savings in this financial year and that will be challenging.”

Mr Hulme, who joined the Trust from Barking, Havering and Redbridge Hospitals, he is proud of the hospital’s work in delivering money, quality and access.

He added: “Traditionally Ipswich Hospital has found it difficult to deliver all three at the same time.

“This year we have delivered on our access targets with A&E, diagnostics, cancer and 18 weeks, with a few hiccups but our end position means we are delivering on all of those.

“We are particularly proud of the work we have achieved in A&E because six months ago we were one of the worst performing hospitals across the patch and are now in the top 10 hospitals in the country which is a brilliant turnaround.

“It shows when we concentrate on a specific area where we have a problem, be it quality, money or access, we will deliver without affecting any of the others.”

Mr Hulme, who sees his long-term future in the health service at Ipswich Hospital, said he would like to see continual improvements with regards to the staff survey and is thinking ahead to the hospitals three-year and five-year plans.

He added: “We remain ambitious to become a foundation trust but to do that we need to demonstrate to Monitor that we are a sustainable, both financially and clinically, organisation going forward.

“We have got some exceptional care and a strong leadership team, which is clinically led, and I’m incredibly optimistic about the future.”

Comments have been disabled on this article.

The man arrested by police over a suspected murder in Bury St Edmunds on Thursday has been charged this evening.

Claydon High School has been recognised for its sporting prowess by achieving the School Games Mark silver award.

Two junctions on the A12 near Kelvedon in Essex will be closed for three nights this week as bridge repair works continue.

One of the biggest dates in Felixstowe’s summer calendar of events got off to a sun drenched start on the seaside this afternoon.

A baby born with a rare disease that causes such severe muscle weakness that even breathing, eating and swallowing become difficult for her has received support from a Suffolk charity.

Families in Ipswich needn’t have ventured far to hit the beach as a sandy retreat began its summer-long stint in Christchurch Park.

Thousands of people have headed to Jimmy’s Farm in Wherstead today for the first day of one of the biggest events on its calendar: Jimmy’s Festival.

A man accused of brandishing a fake gun in Ipswich has been detained to appear at crown court next month.

Regional housebuilder Persimmon Homes celebrates its apprenticeships programme.

Libraries face a challenging future under Brexit – but determined Suffolk communities will put up a fight to help them survive.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24