NHS trust’s battle to balance books in bid for £12m bonus

NHS trust's battle to balance books in bid for £12m bonus

THE hard pressed NHS Trust which manages Tunbridge Wells Hospital is in line for a £12million bonus if it can bring its finances out of the red.

Data released last week shows that Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust [MTW] recorded an in-year deficit of £10.9million at the end of the last 12 month financial period.

This was despite the fact that the trust’s management was expecting to see a £6.7million surplus.

Balancing the books represents another challenge for managers of the hospital in Pembury, which was most recently rated as ‘requires improvement,’ by the Care and Quality Commission.

MTW, which also manages Maidstone Hospital, has confirmed no staff cuts or reduction in patient treatment will happen as a result of the deficit.

The figures were released by the NHS shortly after the Government announced a funding boost of £20.5billion a year for the health service.

Miles Scott, Chief Executive of MTW, took over the post in January and said a plan is in place to balance the books.

But getting the trust in good financial shape this year is key, with a £12million bonus from the NHS at stake.

‘Three years ago the trust had an underlying deficit of £35million,’ Mr Scott told the Times in an exclusive interview last week.

‘That has come down significantly but it has not been eradicated. It came down by the financial year that finished in March.

‘We have now got a plan to get back into balance this year, and to remove all of the underlying issues the following year.’

He continued: ‘If we can hit our budget of a balanced budget this year we can earn a bonus of around £12million that can be invested in facilities.

‘It is a huge incentive for all of our staff. We are focused on working within our means.’

The trust has previously told wider media that it could ‘reduce its reliance on agency staff’ to cut costs.

Across Kent, all county hospitals are in the red. Dartford and Gravesham reported a £15.7million deficit, East Kent recorded a £20million deficit. Medway had the biggest, however, with a £61million deficit.

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