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Health trust expects to break even

PUBLISHED: 11:15 23 October 2008 | UPDATED: 21:36 05 July 2010

A health trust with a history of debt problems looks set to break even by the end of the year.

NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney is £717,000 under budget, although extra investments planned have led it to predict it will balance the books by April 2009.

A health trust with a history of debt problems looks set to break even by the end of the year.

NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney is £717,000 under budget, although extra investments planned have led it to predict it will balance the books by April 2009.

Cost-cutting measures and a £7m injection helped it overcome its financial problems in 2007.

At the halfway point for the 2008-09 financial year, the trust (formerly Great Yarmouth and Waveney primary care trust) is on track to meet its performance targets in 15 out of 23 areas.

The indicators show low levels of MRSA and C-difficile, and the trust has met its targets for a four-hour maximum wait in A&E.

But only 44pc of patients are using the controversial choose-and-book system to make appointments, which falls short of the 70pc optimum.

And just 390 people have been recorded as having quit smoking so far, against the yearly target of 1,669.

Patients are being told that NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney will bounce back after it was rated among the worst in the country. It is finalising an action plan in response to being rated “weak” on quality of services and management of finances in the Healthcare Commission's annual health check earlier this month.

Members gave support in principle to the final draft of the action plan at the PCT board meeting yesterday, which will require monthly progress updates to be given, and will bring in an external audit organisation to review the processes and evidence that are weighed up in the annual health check.

Chiefs, who have blamed the poor result on “administrative failings”, have pledged to skip a level to be awarded “good” status next year on both counts, and achieve “excellent” ratings in the following year's review.

Chairman of the board Bernard Williamson said many of the “silly mistakes” were relatively easy to correct, which has been done since the inspection in July.

“The administration should be squeaky clean,” he said. “We should look robust and strong and that's what the action plan intends to do.

“We've got these high-flying services and these results do not represent what the PCT is about. We accept it's a system failure and we're going to put it right.”

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