Agenda item

Wirral University Teaching Hospital - Financial Update


The Committee considered an update report from the Wirral University Teaching Hospital on the reasons why Monitor had opened the financial investigation at this time; an update outlining the work undertaken by the Trust since the closure of the previous investigation and the next steps in the investigation process.


Mr Allison, Chief Executive of the Wirral University Teaching Hospital explained that the problem was lack of beds not the A&E service; staff could not move patients out of A&E Departments if there are no beds. He indicated that currently the Hospital had 81 unfunded beds on top of the 41 planned beds for which the Hospital had to provide additional resources and staffing to cover the additional beds.


Mr Allison highlighted that 80% of Foundation Hospitals were in deficit alongside Arrowe Park.


The activities undertaken by the Trust supported by Atkins/FTI in year, had supported in year Cost Improvement Programme achievement of £9.5m meeting the requirements for £13m on a full year basis into 15/16.


As at Month 10 the Trust had a cumulative deficit of £4,930k having achieved an in-month surplus of £286k as planned. The sale of Springview had also completed and would therefore contribute favourably to the Trust’s financial out-turn position, which was now forecast to be no more than a deficit of £4.8M.


Further meetings would be held with Monitor to identify further ways in which the Hospital could improve its financial position. Mr Allison indicated that the Hospital needed new models of care and following a successful bid had been chosen by NHS England as one of the 29 “vanguard” sites and therefore part of the £200m transformation fund to trail blaze new ways of providing more joined –up personal care for patients and increase efficiency.


In response to a Member Mr Allison indicated that the Board was doing all it could to identify where savings could be made. Individual services were being looked at to identify if they could be reconfigured, he further indicated that most hospitals in the country would be in deficit this year, with the exception of possibly some of the research hospitals, who were also struggling to identify funding.


Mr Allison indicated that staff morale at present was poor as the hospital was facing a challenging time with the demand never greater, it was difficult to keep staff motivated.


In relation to the 7 day working Mr Allison indicated that clinicians had been working a seven day week with discharges undertaken over the seven day week, over the last three years this had significantly improved the hospitals mortality rates. There was now a real challenge to improve the discharge rates.


In response to a Member, Mr Allison indicated that the Cost Improvement Plan highlighted £30 million pounds to be saved; £9milllon pounds worth of savings had been identified in year with new savings to be delivered for next year. Mr Allison commented that hospitals were no longer sustainable in their current format.


Mr Allison reported that running a hospital was complex, insurance premiums had risen by 4.1 million pounds and it was not in control of many factors. However, factors under the hospitals control were managed as well as it could be. Mr Allison indicated that the CQC (Care Quality Commission) could instruct the Hospital to do something the hospital had to find the money to do it.




That the Committee thanks the Chief Executive and officers of Wirral University Teaching Hospital for attending the meeting and for providing information relating to the financial pressures being experienced by the Trust and how they are being managed, which had resulted in a second investigation by Monitor.


We understand that strenuous efforts are underway to bring about improvement, but we remain concerned that financial pressures will inevitably impact on performance and the Trust’s ability to provide high standards of care, and therefore ask that further information on how implementation of the financial improvement plan and the improvement plan resulting from the recent CQC inspection report are progressing be presented to Health and Care Panel meeting on 1 April 2015, together with reports on current performance. 


























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