Hospital debts rise again

DEBTS at Ipswich Hospital have risen by almost another £5m it was revealed today.In the second financial bombshell to hit the hospital in the last two months, papers for the hospital board's next meeting show that the total debt now stands at £16.

DEBTS at Ipswich Hospital have risen by almost another £5m it was revealed today.

In the second financial bombshell to hit the hospital in the last two months, papers for the hospital board's next meeting show that the total debt now stands at £16.7m, rather than the £11.9m previously forecast.

In May staff thought the debt stood at £4.9m but discovered a £7m blackhole, now the final audited accounts add another £4.8m to that amount.

Jan Rowsell, hospital spokeswoman, said: “We had always said that we would only be able to confirm the exact amount of debts once we had the final audited accounts with us.

“These give us a very clear picture of where we are and, while it is disappointing, this is the definitive position of where we are.”

A report by external auditors found that the hospital had poor control of its finances and had been spending more money than it was receiving, and Ms Rowsell said that the extra debt could be largely put down to this.

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As The Evening Star revealed yesterday, the financial crisis could lead to as many as 350 jobs being axed. The new financial situation could see that rise even higher.

The hospital's board will discuss the new debt crisis at a public meeting in the hospital's staff development centre on Thursday at 9am.