Suffolk trusts get more money

HEALTH trusts in Suffolk will receive more than £12m to help them refurbish buildings and buy new equipment next year, it was revealed today.The money comes directly from the Department of Health and must be used on capital projects.

HEALTH trusts in Suffolk will receive more than £12m to help them refurbish buildings and buy new equipment next year, it was revealed today.

The money comes directly from the Department of Health and must be used on capital projects. It can not be used to pay running costs like wages, or be put towards the trusts' debts.

The five Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) in the county will receive £1.8m between them, Ipswich Hospital will receive £4.8m, West Suffolk Hospital will receive £3.2m, and the Suffolk Mental Health Partnership Trust (SMHPT) will receive £2.3m.

Jan Rowsell, spokeswoman for the east Suffolk PCTs and Ipswich Hospital, said it was too early to decide what the money would be spent on.


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She said: “The money is usually directed towards meeting national priorities like cancer waiting times, and there will be an extra focus this year on mental health.

“In the hospital different departments will draw up lists all year round for approval by our trust board. It is a rolling process.”

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Examples of things that the money has been spent on in the past are the recent ward refurbishment programme at the hospital and a new angiography suite.

Mental health trusts are the main winners in the allocation of the new funding as the Department of Health has given them, on average, 50pc more than they received last year.

Mark Halladay, chief executive of the Suffolk Mental Health Partnership Trust, said: “It's quite good news for us. This year we got £1.6m and next year we will receive £2.3m so it's quite a substantial increase.

“The money will go towards maintenance of existing buildings and minor new developments.”

Money for the planned revamp of the St Clement's site will come from a different pot of money held by the SHA for major projects.

Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt has said that if trusts with financial difficulties find they are unable to start work on any new developments in 2006/7 they will be able to carry the capital funding over in to the following years.

A spokesman for the Department of Health said the allocation of the money is worked out according to the population of an area and the characteristics of that population such as age and deprivation.

The Department of Health gives the money to the Strategic Health Authority.

Individual trusts draw up lists of things that they would like to spend the money on.

If approved by the board of the trust, a Strategic Outline Case is drawn up and given to the SHA for their approval.

If the SHA agrees with the proposals trusts are asked to draw up a full business case.

Once this has been submitted and approved the SHA will give the money to the trusts.

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