Health trust must save £14m by March, 2012

THE NHS Trust which provides mental health care in Hastings must make savings of £14m in the face of unprecedented demand for its services.

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust claims it is at full stretch as it continues to try and care for 100,000 people every year. It follows Sussex NHS Trust’s announcement recently that finances had reached a critical stage as it faces a £19m overspend by the end of the year.

The Foundation Trusts needs to find £14.1m worth of savings by March despite a 44 percent rise in the demand on its services.

It is currently half way through a five year plan to modernise its services. This includes building

Cavendish House in Hastings which is set to open in December to replace four substandard community facilities

Chief Executive Lisa Rodrigues said, “This year we are challenged as never before. This is set to continue. “We are no different from other NHS and social care funded services.

“Where we are developing services locally, we are spending money which we have saved by making planned surpluses in previous years. The changes we are making to improve productivity and quality and the savings we are releasing are not optional. If we spend a penny more than we have budgeted on staffing, goods or services, we have to cut back the same amount somewhere else.”

The Trust states is has already won new business and is already delivering services in Hampshire, Lewisham and Kent which has helped secure jobs.

Dr. Richard Ford, executive director of strategic development, added: “In these hugely challenging economic times it is often the case that those organisations that support some of society’s most vulnerable people will see their services in most demand.

“Some of our services have seen an increase of 44% in the number of people seeking our help and we have to make £14.1 million savings by March 2012.

“Instead of burying our head in the sand we’ve been working hard to win new contracts, where we know we can add value and make a real difference to the lives of people using these services.

“Fundamentally this is about making sure the people who need our help can get it – without comprising quality.”