Hospitals facing £100m deficit

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Hospitals across Yorkshire are facing debts of more than £100 million, triggering warnings NHS finances are plunging into crisis.

Latest figures reveal 12 out of 15 NHS trusts running hospitals serving Yorkshire are in the red after the first six months of the financial year, with six now predicting they will face significant deficits by the end of March.

NHS bosses are blaming the growing difficulties on extra costs of additional doctors and nurses in the wake of the Mid Staffordshire scandal, coupled with years of real-terms cuts in funding in the face of rising demand for care.

There are also growing concerns additional pressures during the winter months could pile on further problems.

Five organisations including Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, which is expected to have a deficit topping £40m, and the Wakefield-based Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which is forecasting a deficit of £17m, had already predicted deficits for 2014-15. But worsening problems across the sector mean overspending is likely to exceed £100m.

Managers at the Calderdale and Huddersfield trust yesterday revealed they are forecasting a £4.3m deficit by March.

Original plans to cut costs by £19.5m are likely to be £10m short of target. An unspecified number of job cuts are being planned.

Only three NHS trusts in the region - Airedale, Bradford, and Doncaster and Bassetlaw - are reporting a healthy position.

Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham said: “Everywhere you look, there are signs of an NHS now heading rapidly in the wrong direction.

“The main reason why the NHS in Yorkshire is in such a fragile financial position is because of David Cameron’s disastrous decision to break his promise of ‘no top-down re-organisation’. It turned the NHS upside down and cost a staggering £3 billion. This is why the Prime Minister is losing public trust with the NHS.”

A Department of Health spokesman said: “We’ve taken tough decisions to increase the NHS budget by £12.7bn over this Parliament. We understand some trusts are facing challenges because of increasing demand but they must have a tight financial grip and ensure they live within their means.

“Delivering high quality services and balancing the books must go hand in hand and we expect trusts to deliver this during the course of the financial year.”

9 March 2018......     Bradford MP Judith Cummins at the BASF chemical plant in Low Moor in the city.  Picture Tony Johnson.

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