THE Alex’s cash-strapped health trust is so short of money it is in danger of running into trouble with its medical suppliers.
Newly appointed interim finance director Rob Cooper warned that Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (WAHT) told board members “it is critical that we receive additional money”.
WAHT has already benefited from a £5.2m loan in November to maintain cash flow and Mr Cooper said that the Trust Development Authority was aware of their desperate need for cash.
Explaining that the trust was currently only paying 20 per cent of its creditors within 30 days, he said: “Clearly we do not want to get in a situation over medical supplies.”
His warning came after it was revealed that the trust’s expected overspend on the financial year 2015/16 of £58 million had crept out to £61.6 million and this could widen further given the risk of rising costs over winter and the danger of losing income from missed operations and targets.
The trust has been hit by a series of costs, including £3.5 million lost from medically fit for discharge patients being stuck in acute hospital beds because they have no care within the community to go to – equivalent to 3,900 bed days in October.
In addition the use of premium agency staff in Accident and Emergency hit £5.3 million in October besides being hit by a series of fines for missing targets.
The trust has produced a seven point plan to bring the overspend under control particularly by micro-managing the use of agency staff and pay and managing down the medically fit for discharge.