Increased demand a big factor in Suffolk hospitals’ £30million combined deficit

Ipswich Hospital

Ipswich Hospital - Credit: Archant

Suffolk’s two main hospitals racked up a combined deficit of more than £30million in the last financial year.

West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds. Photograph Simon Parker

West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds. Photograph Simon Parker - Credit: Archant

An increasing demand on services has been identified as one of the major reasons behind the figures for 2015/16.

Ipswich Hospital hit a deficit of £21.7m at the end of the financial year.

A spokeswoman for the Heath Road trust said: “We always knew it would be a tough financial year and we did deliver what we said we would deliver.

“The reasons for the overspend is just sheer busyness. We have been very busy with emergency admissions and needed additional staff to provide safe care.”

Meanwhile, West Suffolk Hospital’s deficit reached £9.9m in the 2015/16 financial year.

Craig Black, director of resources at the trust, said: “There were several reasons for this, including significant increases in demand and an increased number of patients whose discharge was delayed, both of which put pressure on the hospital. As a result of this extra demand, we have also increased the number of permanent staff which we employ by 130.

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“We are still discussing our budget for the coming year with NHS Improvement and our board, but expect the challenges we have faced during the past 12 months to continue.”

The Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which commissions health services, achieved a surplus of £3m against a surplus requirement of £4.5m, the West Suffolk CCG hit its £2.9m surplus requirement.

A spokesman said: “Both CCGs continue to use resources prudently, however increasing demand on services continues to put pressure on the organisations’ finances. The CCGs have already implemented a number of measures to increase efficiencies and is implementing more partnership working between health and care providers across the county to deliver more efficient services and better patient outcomes.”