Hospital Trust aims to cut deficit by £16 million

Conquest Hospital, Hastings. SUS-150615-132748001

Conquest Hospital, Hastings. SUS-150615-132748001

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The cash-strapped NHS Trust, which runs the Conquest Hospital and Eastbourne’s DGH, is aiming to reduce its financial deficit by £16 million by the end of the financial year.

The East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust finished the 2015/2016 year £48m in the red.

By the end of March, it hopes this figure will stand at £42m - meaning the trust will get extra £10m national funding to help towards its savings target.

The Trust has prepared an action plan to help it make the required savings after the organisation was placed in financial special measures in October.

Jonathan Reid, director of finance at the Trust, said it had “an enormously challenging financial target for this year”.

One of the main focuses of the plan is cutting back on the amount of money the Trust spends on agency staff.

It hopes to have cut this particular spend by £1.55m by the end of the year.

The Trust has already made strides in cutting the money it spends on agency staff and over the past few months has recruited a number of full time staff from the UK and abroad.

However David Clayton-Smith, chairman of the Trust board, said the cost saving measures were not “a slash and burn programme”.

Mr Reid added the Trust did not want to make changes which would affect patient services.

He said: “There is a quality impact assessment process which is on going to make sure if any schemes are having an impact on quality, they will be stopped.”

The plan was ratified at a meeting of the Trust board last week.

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