Hospital's finances improve

IPSWICH Hospital's financial situation is beginning to show signs of improvement, but there is still much work to be done, its chief executive said today.

IPSWICH Hospital's financial situation is beginning to show signs of improvement, but there is still much work to be done, its chief executive said today.

Andrew Reed, who took up his role at the hospital in July 2005, revealed that for the last two months the hospital has made a small surplus, instead of losing cash.

He said: “In December we accrued a surplus of £250,000 and in the month before that a small surplus of £31,000, which is great because it means we have had two months where we have not accrued further debts.

“There's just beginning to be very early signs that the finances are coming under control but, obviously, we need to remain cautious as we are now in our busiest time of the year and there is still much work to be done.”


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Mr Reed said the hospital's ambitious financial recovery programme, which included plans to axe 350 jobs, is also ahead of target.

He said: “So far, we have reduced the workforce by about 200 posts, which is about 90 ahead of where we had planned to be at this stage.

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“Almost all of this has been through natural wastage. There have only been five redundancies, all of which have been voluntary.”

He added that credit must go to staff who had coped admirably during an extremely difficult time for the hospital.

He said: “Staff have really got to grips with this and we have really improved our businesses processes immensely.

“There are many areas in the hospital where things are working at least as well, if not better, than they used to.

“We have managed to take the posts out without a huge impact.

“It's been a fantastic effort from everyone but we know we still have a long way to go.”

The hospital launched its financial recovery plan, aimed at clearing more than £24m of debt, in September.

The plan included a string of controversial proposals including axing 350 jobs, closing up to four operating theatres and getting rid of around 70 beds.

Do you think the hospital is coping well with the debt? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk>

WEBLINK: www.ipswichhospital.nhs.uk

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