Patient costs fare well despite deficit

Royal Lancaster Infirmary.
Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

THE trust which operates Royal Lancaster Infirmary performed better in the first two months of the financial year than expected, its latest finance report shows.

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust had a deficit of £5.044m against a planned deficit of £5.234m.

The report states that UHMBT’s annual plan, submitted to Monitor, the independent regulator, on May 31, anticipates it will make a financial loss of £29.5m this year.

For the two months ended May 31, patient care income was £123,000 better than planned; £3,000 was underspent on pay budgets; non-pay-budgets were underspent by £52,000 and savings of £315,000 were made against a target of £273,000 for the year.

The trust had £22.3m in the bank and capital expenditure amounted to £241,000, £31,000 less than the plan.

The trust has experienced problems of late including an investigation into staffing levels at A and E departments,

patient safety and quality of care, and maternity care.

A new computerised patient record system also caused chaos when appointments and records were lost and stored incorrectly.

Tim Bennett, director offinance/deputy chief executive, UHMBT, said: “The safety of our patients is our number one priority so we have invested to stabilise our services.

“We are now left with a serious financial consequence.

“By the end of September, we will be submitting further plans to Monitor outlining all the options for change.”