King’s Lynn hospital expects end-of-year deficit of £20m

Queen Elizabeth Hospital , King's Lynn
Queen Elizabeth Hospital , King's Lynn

Winter pressures are among the factors which have caused Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital to go over its budget by about £3 million this financial year, officials have said.

It is expected that the hospital will end the year with a deficit in the region of £20 million, against a deficit plan of £16.3 million for 2017/18, as submitted to NHS Improvement (NHSI) in March of last year.

But chiefs have said plans are in place to make sure targets are met in the next financial year.

Roy Jackson, director of resources at the hospital, said: “Winter pressures have had an impact on our expected income with far fewer elective operations being carried out than expected.

“As we approach the end of the financial year our deficit is clearly not what we would wish for but we have developed comprehensive cost improvement and financial delivery plans to ensure we meet our financial targets for the coming year.”

The finance exception report to the board of directors says the trust has a forecast deficit in the range of £19.9 million to £21.9 million.

“The trust has made a (control total) loss of £2.8 million in February 2018 which is £0.8 million adverse to plan. Year to date loss is £19.6 million which is £3.9 million adverse to plan,” it adds.

The report goes on to say that the clinical income in February was £335,000 adverse to plan.

“Overall pay expenditure is £514,000 adverse to plan.Substantive staff spend is £18,000 adverse to plan and agency spend is £496,000 adverse to plan.”

The report says the pay adverse variance continues to be driven primarily by the need to use agency and premium rate bank staff to cover medical staff and qualified nurse vacancies and sickness cover.

“The trust had an original capital expenditure programme of £9.2 million in 2017/18. The capital programme has been reviewed and a forecast out-turn of £4.5 million (inclusive of £0.1 million donated assets) is expected.”

Year to date, £3.1 million has been spent on capital investment, which includes CT scanners, medical equipment and a pharmacy automated dispensing system, among other items.

At the end of February, the trust had drawn a total of £13.7 million loans for revenue and zero for capital.

Loan funding of £5.1 million has been received for March and a further £1.8 million has been requested for April.