Debtbusters aim to cut costs

FINANCE chiefs at Central Suffolk Primary Care Trust are putting in measures to reduce a £2.4million debt.A recovery plan is to be put in place to try and bring the overall deficit down to £1million by the end of the year.

FINANCE chiefs at Central Suffolk Primary Care Trust are putting in measures to reduce a £2.4million debt.

A recovery plan is to be put in place to try and bring the overall deficit down to £1million by the end of the year.

The PCT will discuss a report at a public board meeting next week which shows hundreds of thousands too much are being spent in essential areas like continence and wheelchair services.

But just under half of the £602,000 overspend within those areas will be charged back to other PCTs as Central Suffolk manages that particular service.

Other PCT's will then use the equipment but will have to pay Central Suffolk for it as it is the Trust that buys it all in.

Some of the main problems are centred around Children's Services and Hartismere Hospital.

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A report by Alison Taylor, Director of Finance and Performance at the PCT, shows Hartismere Hospital will have spent about £125,000 too much at the end of the year due to pressures from bed blocking.

Children's Services are likely to have overspent by £75,000 as the budgets inherited from the former health authority did not take into account many areas involved like Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language Therapy budgets.

Increased demands on equipment and wheelchair services has meant overspending is continuing, although a new contract has now been negotiated which will cut costs.

Costs of drug prescribing have also added to debts and are likely to result in spending £250,000 more than planned at the end of the year.

This is said to mirror the situation in other PCTs and measures are now being put in place to reduce the amount being spent.

Cutting down on drug wastage is one area being investigated as well as using cheaper drugs that do the same as the more expensive ones and also getting community pharmacists to carry out medication reviews in care homes.

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