Exclusive: Hospital bosses in Leeds aim to cut £65million in face of soaring demand

Leeds hospital bosses hope to make £65million of cuts over the next year in a bid to balance the books amid rising demand.

Sunday, 5th June 2016, 11:00 pm

Weeks after posting a £30.2m deficit for 2015/16, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTH) has adopted an ambitious budget plan to make a £1.2m surplus over the next financial year.

Trust chief executive Julian Hartley has announced that a goal for the year is “to achieve financial sustainability” by adjusting budgets, building on changes already made and rolling out initiatives to manage stock to cut waste.

The plan relies on the organisation finding a huge swathe of savings while meeting performance targets to help it secure around £22m from Government’s Sustainability and Transformation Fund (STF).

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In April, the first month of the new plan, the trust recorded a £3.4m deficit, which was slightly better than planned, as bosses hope to recoup funds and cut costs as the year progresses.

Mr Hartley said: “The first objective is to improve financial margins to support the delivery of high quality care.”

It is unclear as to where the £65m of cost savings will be made as LTH board papers show that almost £40m of those cuts are yet to be identified.

The YEP understands no job cuts will be sought by the trust following a year in which LTH made savings of £70m. The trust has a £1.1billion budget.

Elsewhere, Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust (MYH) aims to deliver a £4.2m surplus despite recording a deficit of nearly £15m last year. The trust is banking on hitting targets to secure £16.7m from the STF while making £26m of cuts.

An MYH board report explained that delivering its efficiency savings, managing the impact of the surge in winter demand and delivering contract activity within budget are “all major challenges for the trust”.

Collectively seven of Yorkshire’s largest NHS hospital trusts are planning to deliver more than £140m of savings over the next year.