Spending restrictions at Leeds hospitals

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Strict controls on the spending on bank nurses and agency doctors are still in place as hospital bosses work to keep their finances under control.

But managers at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust have accepted it will not this year meet two of the requirements for organisations hoping to become foundation trusts.

All NHS hospitals are expected to achieve the status, which gives more freedom from Government control.

Last month directors in Leeds agreed that they could no longer end the year with a £10m surplus, as hoped.

Instead they are aiming to have £5m in the bank by next March, whilst having to save £24m this financial year.

The situation has been caused by losing funding as well as overspending, including on the use of bank nurses and agency staff – usually doctors.

Latest figures show that £28.2m was spent in total on bank and agency staff, and overtime payments in the first half of the year.

If that carried on at the same level, by the end of the year nearly a third more would have been spent on this than in the previous year.

Jackie Green, director of human resources, told a hospitals board meeting: “We have put a comprehensive set of controls into the organisation.”

Cuts are also being made to spending on the number of patients sent for private treatment, on office equipment, furniture and fittings and on minor building work which is not necessary maintenance.

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