North West London Hospitals NHS Trust to rack up £20million deficit

Harrow Times: Northwick Park Hospital Northwick Park Hospital

A hospital trust is set to run up a loss of more than £20million for the year, leading to concerns over jobs at one of its sites.

North West London Hospitals NHS Trust, which includes Northwick Park, is forecast to have run up the deficit for the current financial year, part of a combined total of £330 million for all 145 trusts in England.

While the North West London’s overspend is a planned deficit for the year, Labour MP for Harrow West Gareth Thomas fears more jobs may be cut.

He said: “These figures predicting a £20 million deficit are deeply worrying, especially if they lead to more cuts at Northwick Park Hospital.

“It is clear that the pressure on doctors, nurses and management at Northwick Park is growing.

“Cuts to social care have meant many elderly people are having to stay in hospital longer while the weekday closure of Alexandra Avenue walk-in clinic have left many in the west of the borough with little alternative but to go to Northwick Park.”

Chief executive David McVittie said: “I would like to reassure local people that in developing any plans to save money we are committed to ensuring high quality services for our patients.

“We are continuing to focus on how we can work differently and more efficiently so that any savings we make do not impact on front line services or our staff.

“There are lots of ways in which we can reduce our pay bill without loss of jobs such as looking at redeployment, flexible retirement, voluntary reduction in hours, controlling expenditure on temporary or agency staff, flexible working and reducing sickness.

“We are working towards a financially sustainable future through merger with Ealing Hospital NHS Trust and a revised business case was submitted to the Trust Development Authority (TDA) in November. Subject to a number of approval processes the Trusts are aiming to merge in July this year.”

The trust says its new Emergency Department at Northwick Park, paid for by the Department of Health, is on target to open in the autumn and will not be affected by the planned deficit.

The trust is overseen by the NHS Trust Development Authority which revealed the figures in its latest board meeting.

A spokesman for the authority said: “We are working closely with those trusts that are in deficit as they prepare their plans for the next two years.

“Our focus is on supporting trusts through this process and making sure that whatever steps they take are sustainable and that they are not taking their eye off the most important issue of all – maintaining and improving patient care.”

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