March 28, 2019 4.52 pm This story is over 30 months old

Greater Lincolnshire hospital trusts rack up £147m overspend

Health trusts set for high overspends this year

Greater Lincolnshire’s main health trusts are set to rack up a total overspend of more than £147 million this year.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (ULHT) and Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust (NLaG) are forecast a total overspend of £147.2 million by the end of the 2018/19 financial term.

NLaG is projected to miss its deficit target which was agreed with regulator NHS Improvement, but ULHT is expected to meet its plan.

Both organisations are currently in financial special measures and are set to discuss and set next year’s targets with regulator bosses.

ULHT, which runs hospitals in Lincoln, Boston and Grantham, has forecast an overspend of £88.2 million.

It means the organisation is £1.2 million below the target agreed with the trust’s regulator.

Boston Pilgrim Hospital. Picture: Steve Smailes

Director of finance at ULHT, Paul Matthew, said the trust faced “major operational pressures” this year, but added they can still improve.

“We do acknowledge that there are improvements to be made in our financial position and we are setting out a five year financial plan with the ambition to return to financial sustainability during this period,” he said.

“Progress has been made in the last six months in stabilising the financial position, hitting the financial plan in each of these months with a year-end forecast of £88.2 million, £1.2 million better than of the target £89.4 million.”

Mr Matthew added that ULHT will now look to agree a deficit target of £70.3 million with NHS Improvement for next year.

Dr Peter Reading, chief executive of Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Trust. Photo: Calvin Robinson

He said the trust hopes to meet the target by increasing productivity and quality in services and a “targeted recruitment drive”.

Meanwhile, NLaG, which runs Scunthorpe Hospital and Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital in Grimsby, is set to miss its target by £20 million.

The trust is forecast to run up a deficit of £59 million by the end of year.

Dr Peter Reading, chief executive of NLaG, said the organisation had struggled to reduce staff spending and faced further challenges with “unexpected expenditure”.

Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital, Grimsby. Picture: Calvin Robinson.

“It has been a very difficult year with significant pressures on our services and we have struggled to reduce our spending on locum and agency staff,” he said.

“The age and condition of some of our buildings continues to pose a significant challenge for the trust and has led to a considerable amount of unexpected expenditure this year, for example we had to close two of the theatres at Scunthorpe and open up a temporary mobile theatre at Goole.

“We do expect to deliver £14.7 million of our planned £15 million targeted savings programme and are working hard on our financial plans for 2019/20 with our regulator NHS Improvement.”

SUBSCRIBE TO LOCAL DEMOCRACY WEEKLY, our exclusive email newsletter with highlights from our coverage every week and insights and analysis from our local democracy reporters.

Spotted an error? Please notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.