April 3, 2020 4.14 pm This story is over 48 months old

£342m of hospital trust’s debt to be written off by government

The move will help the trust to become financially stable

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust debts totalling £342 million are set to be written off under government plans, it has been revealed.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced on Thursday that he was writing off £13.4 billion of historic NHS debt across the nation in a bid to help trusts financially as they look to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

Bosses at ULHT, which runs hospitals in Lincoln, Boston and Grantham, today revealed the trust’s £342 milllion of historic loans will be converted to Public Dividend Capital.

It is hoped the move will save £2.5 million for the trust in 2020/21, which bosses say will help it “return to a long-term financially sustainable position.”

ULHT Director of Finance and Digital Paul Matthew said: “This is fantastic news for the trust and the people of Lincolnshire, as the burden of historic debt is removed.

“The trust can now focus on the future and delivery of its Integrated Improvement Plan.”

The trust has been in special measures since 2017 and at the end of 2019 reported a deficit of £34.893 million.

It had agreed to have a deficit of £70.3 million by the end of the financial year with the hope of exiting the issue with the agreement of regulators.

The current chief executive Andrew Morgan, who took over in 2019, is hoping to have achieved “outstanding” status from the Care Quality Commission by 2026.

Announcing the government’s move yesterday, Mr Hancock said:  “This landmark step will not only put the NHS in a stronger position to be able to respond to this global coronavirus pandemic.

“But it will ensure that our NHS has stronger foundation for the future too.”

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