Health Trusts getting further into debt

PUBLISHED: 11:59 29 March 2007 | UPDATED: 11:43 06 May 2010

A PART of the county s health service is losing £1m every week – despite a series of cost-cutting measures. A financial report issued by the East of England Strategic Health Authority (SHA) has revealed that Hertfordshire Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) are ge

A PART of the county's health service is losing £1m every week - despite a series of cost-cutting measures.

A financial report issued by the East of England Strategic Health Authority (SHA) has revealed that Hertfordshire Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) are getting further and further into debt.

This has happened despite money saving measures including putting back routine operations and delaying outpatient appointments until the start of the new financial year.

Between November and January Hertfordshire PCTs' financial position deteriorated by £12m.

In a bid to stem this financial haemorrhaging, hospital consultants must now also seek approval to give urgent treatment to patients.

A spokesman said the overspend was mainly due to the cost of extra activity above what was planned for.

She said: "We have already made significant progress towards achieving financial balance by negotiating robust contracts with hospitals for next year and switching from more expensive brand name drugs to generic ones where clinically appropriate.

"We are also working to make sure none of our patients are disadvantaged by the savings plans implemented."

She added the PCT would continue to do its best to keep expenditure to a minimum while maintaining quality services for patients.

l The SHA, which has responsibility for the management of finances at PCTs and NHS Trusts across the six counties which make up the East of England, is forecasting an aggregate overspend of £169m for 2006/07 - well above its control total of £125m and forecast overspend half way through the financial year of £150m.


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