Trust debt set to increase by £13m next year

The Royal Lancaster Infirmary
The Royal Lancaster Infirmary

Morecambe Bay’s health trust has projected a deficit of £40m in 2015/16, up from £27m this year.

Labour said the trust was in a “cash crisis”, but University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust (UHMBT) said the finances would become more balanced over time.

Amina Lone, Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Morecambe and Lunesdale said: “This is shocking news that our local hospitals will be in a £40m cash crisis next year.

“People here are worried about the NHS.

“They tell me that they struggle to get doctors appointments, that the local A&E is in crisis and waiting lists are on the up.

“How are any of these issues going to be solved with the Tories and their spending cuts for the NHS?”

The Labour Party said it had obtained figures that showed two thirds of trusts across the country would be in deficit by 2015/16, up from one in five in 2013/14.

UHMBT said its deficit in 2014-15 was £27.2m and it made savings of £12.2m.

The projection for 2015/16 is that the trust will be in excess of £40m worth of debt, with £10m of savings expected.

Eric Ollerenshaw, Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Lancaster and Fleetwood said: “The vast majority of my constituents have received a great service from all the staff at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

“If you want to deliver more services, you need to find the money to deliver that.

“We need to continue that work.”

Aaron Cummins, director of finance and deputy chief executive at UHMBT said: “The Trust financial plans for 2015-16 were approved as part of the overall Trust Operational Plan for the year and will be submitted to Monitor shortly.

“They include a projection of a deficit in excess of £40m for the year, after the Trust has delivered a planned saving of £10m.

“This projection is consistent with the position which was published by the Trust and its health partners in the Better Care Together strategy in February this year.

“Better Care Together is the plan for health and social care partners across the area to work in a more integrated way – both in and out of hospital - and should result in a more balanced financial position over time.

“Better Care Together has already received positive feedback and we have been named as one of 29 nationally recognised Vanguard sites – which will help the implementation of better care together.”