King’s Lynn hospital’s deficit increases due to investment

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Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital could be in line for extra funding as it faces being £16 million in the red by the end of the financial year.

The hospital is holding talks with the Department of Health to agree additional funding to meet the running costs of Gayton Road site.

The trust’s deficit currently stands at just over £9 million following a massive amount of investment to improve the quality of care services after it was placed in special measures last year.

But the deficit is forecast to be rise to between £14 million to £16 million by the end of March.

Last September, the trust’s previous managers had predicted the deficit to be £3 million by March.

Chief executive Manjit Obhrai, who took over in October, said: “We all recognise that there is a major challenge in continuing to improve the quality of care and get finances back on a robust footing.

“However, I am very optimistic that working together with all our stakeholders, we can make change happen and get QEH back where we all want it to be, providing a high-quality, efficient service to the people of West Norfolk.”

The hospital’s finances are currently under the control of regulator Monitor, after it was placed in special measures in October last year after a number of concerns were raised about patient care within reports by the Care Quality Commission and NHS England.

Hospital chiefs have ploughed extra money into the cost of employing agency staff and locums. The trust has also recruited an additional 71 Portuguese nurses and 40 healthcare assistants to meet adequate staffing levels on the wards and to ensure there are no gaps in the medical rotas.

A statement from the hospital says: “Our primary mission is to provide a safe and caring environment for patients at the hospital.

“However, while we continue to invest in clinical services to improve the quality of our patient care, we must make further improvements in achieving our productivity targets.

“Thanks to the hard work and commitment of staff, we are set to deliver more than £5 million-worth of efficiency savings this year.”