New role for Ipswich Hospital chief executive Nick Hulme to help the trust reduce its deficit in 2016/2017

Ipswich Hospital

Ipswich Hospital

Ipswich Hospital is hoping to halve its financial deficit next year with the help of a multi-million pound boost from the Government.

Ipswich Hospital chief executive Nick Hulme.

Ipswich Hospital chief executive Nick Hulme. - Credit: Gregg Brown

If the trust can end the 2016/2017 financial year with a shortfall of £17.7million it will be eligible to receive £7m of funding from the Department of Health as part of a new sustainability plan.

This would effectively enable Ipswich Hospital to achieve a £10.7m deficit – an improvement of more than £11m from this year.

However, if the hospital is to reach this target it will have to find savings of £22.6m. Under its current draft budget, it is predicted to hit a deficit of £40.3m.

Nick Hulme, the chief executive of Ipswich Hospital, has this week been chosen to represent Suffolk and north-east Essex in a national scheme which aims to help transform health and care in the UK by 2020.

Senior health figures from across the country will come together to work on a localised Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP), covering health, social care and finances in their area.

“It’s a really great opportunity to start to think about health and social care as a place rather than an organisation,” Mr Hulme said.

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“No one will be wearing their organisational hat, but having a conversation about what’s best for the people of Suffolk and north-east Essex and where the money is best spent and what will get the best health outcome for local people.”

Ipswich Hospital is ending month 11 of its financial year £5.9m adrift of its plan with a deficit of £22.8m.

At a meeting of the hospital’s trust board yesterday, director of finance Paul Scott said this was £2m off where he expected the hospital to be.

However, he added: “In the context of the environment we are working in, I’m confident that is a positive result for Ipswich.

“That doesn’t take away from the long-term challenges Ipswich Hospital faces in the future.”

Mr Scott said in the meeting that the main drivers of the hospital’s financial performance this year were: the hospital being busier than expected, a struggle to recruit nursing staff resulting in the hospital using more agency nurses, and delays in transferring the care of the patient from the hospital into community recourses.