Trust axes financial improvement role

Pam Mills

PROGRESS in cutting the deficit of the NHS trust which runs Tunbridge Wells Hospital means it no longer requires the services of a Financial Improvement Director it has been disclosed.

Simon Worthington was parachuted into the role on August 22 last year after auditors discovered the trust’s deficit was £23million. The revelation meant the trust was placed under special financial measures, alongside five other NHS authorities.

Mr Worthington was given the task of improving the finances of Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust after he has overseen a similar turn around as Director of Finance at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust.

Last week the Times revealed the deficit at of Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust has been cut by over half in a year to £10.9m in 2016/17, with a forecast to run a surplus in the next fiscal year.

A spokesman for the trust was still under special financial measures, but added: “Following this marked progress in 2016/17, there is no longer a requirement for Simon Worthington to work directly with the Trust and this has ceased.

The Trust does, however, continue to work closely with NHS Improvement as it seeks to exit special financial measures.”

He said the savings had been made through more efficient ways of working and securing further funding as a result of improvements to patient care, adding: “The Trust successfully managed to reduce the cost of items such as clinical supplies and agency usage. It also received funding for achieving a range of locally and nationally agreed initiatives that have helped improve patient wellbeing. These areas collectively accounted for the overall improvement.”

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