Hospital needs financial guru

AS IPSWICH Hospital battles to claw back almost £12 million in the next few months, it has today emerged that it needs a new person to aid its recovery plan.

AS IPSWICH Hospital battles to claw back almost £12 million in the next few months, it has today emerged that it needs a new person to aid its recovery plan.

The hospital is hunting for a deputy director of finance, on a salary of around £57,000, as the current holder of the post is moving on.

One of the new recruit's tasks will be to project manage the recovery plan.

Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust is already expecting a period when the post will be vacant, but it hopes to have the new person in place by December.


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It's financial difficulties mean that if the recruitment drive is unsuccessful, it would not be able to resort to external financial consultants.

The trust must pay back £4.7m in accumulated debt and make £6.9m in efficiency savings by March. It is also receiving less money from the Suffolk East Primary Care Trusts.

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And as recently reported in The Evening Star, the three cash-strapped Suffolk East PCTs spent more than £127,000 on financial consultants to help them clear their debts between March 2004 and June 2005.

This post does not fall under the general freeze on filling vacancies in Suffolk East healthcare, in which a bank of vacancies is being built up for staff affected by the likely cuts across the system.

Christine Smart, chairman of the trust, said the current post-holder was making a natural career move and that there was no indication he was moving on because of the hospital's current financial problems.

She said: "We are looking for somebody with experience at a senior level, preferable a qualified accountant, preferably chartered.

"Having said that, the salary we are offering isn't brilliant. Accountants are at a premium in the private, public and voluntary sector.

"I don't think the financial challenges will put people off, I think it's a tremendous challenge."

Ms Smart said that if the current going rate was not offered, the hospital might find problems finding an appropriate person.

She said:"Surely it's better to get someone appropriately qualified to help us get out of this financial situation than get someone who is under qualified and end up in a worse position."

Ms Smart said that if a new deputy director of finance has not been recruited in time someone could be seconded into the role.

What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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