Greater Lincolnshire’s health trusts are suffering with staffing shortages and pressure on services. But they’re also tackling financial problems.
Bosses at both United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust and Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust have been grappling with deficit woes which together total £147 million.
Reading about the health service in crisis is nothing new, but when an organisation has been grappling with a problem for so long it’s important to take notice.
ULHT is set to record a deficit of £88.2 million by the end of the year, while NLaG are forecast an overspend of £59 million.
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Both trusts are in financial special measures, meaning regulator NHS Improvement keeps a close eye on them and their finances.
It also means they have to agree an overspend target and meet it.
Fortunately for ULHT, they are set to meet their financial plan by £1.2 million despite the “major operational pressures” that bosses at the trust said they have been under.
The same can’t be said for NLaG who are £20 million over their agreed target.
Chief executive of the trust, Dr Peter Reading, said the organisation had “struggled” to deal with its staff spending and added that it had been a “difficult year”.
Both trusts will meet with regulator bosses to discuss new targets for next year.
But considering the fact that the region’s authorities either cannot meet their targets or come very close to missing them, it begs the question: when will things get better?
The health service as a whole faces challenges which are reflected in local services and how they cope.
Yet in Lincolnshire, the problem seems significantly more pressing.
You can point to inspection reports, waiting time figures and service reviews. But the bottom line comes back to finances and our organisations are suffering.
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