Audit gloomy but CEO at is optimistic

IPSWICH Hospital's Chief Executive has denied that the Trust is facing serious financial troubles despite an audit report stating the current financial position is a matter for serious concern.

IPSWICH Hospital's Chief Executive has denied that the Trust is facing serious financial troubles despite an audit report stating the current financial position is a matter for serious concern.

Paul Forden said that although last years figures had shown the Trust to be in debt, this year improvements were being made.

Mr Forden said that last financial year the Trust had a deficit of £992,000 but this year they were hoping for an underspend of the same amount to balance the books.

He said: "What we are doing to offset last years problems is to make things better this year.


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"It only becomes an issue if we have to take action that will affect patient care and we are not doing that.

"We are not looking at doing anything which will change the way we deliver patient care."

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Just a few months ago the hospital trust was facing a deficit of £1.8million but talks have been going on with Suffolk's Primary Care Trust and much of that has now been resolved.

Mr Forden said: "At the start of the year we did not know how much (money) we had to spend.

"The PCT did not have that much to give us but that has now been resolved and at the moment we are well under the £1million."

The audit, which Mr Forden said was completed earlier in the year, stated that: "It has become increasingly evident over the last two years that the financial resources and reserves available within the Suffolk health system are no longer sufficient to sustain the Trust's existing levels of health care expenditure."

It highlighted the fact that during 2001/2 the Trust had significant pressures upon them as a result of higher levels of emergency admissions and higher levels of bedblockers.

It also pointed out that the funding of acute health care expenditure in the county is low in comparison to similar health care systems and that there were fewer nursing and residential care facilities.

Hospital spokeswoman Jan Rowsell said that some of the main problems also included extra admissions to meet Government targets as well as the cost of drugs and items such as hearing aids and implants.

The audit did also point out that the Trust was successful in using what money it had got efficiently and set realistic budget plans.

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