Hospitals Need Loan To Keep Going

Bosses behind two Hampshire hospitals have had to take out a loan worth millions of pounds because its struggling to pay the bills.

Portsmouth Hospital's NHS Trust runs St. Mary's and the Queen Alexandra.

They've confirmed to Heart that they've borrowed £13million to keep them going for the next year and say they may need more financial support in future.

Robert Toole, Director of Finance at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, said:

“The Trust, along with many other parts of the NHS, is facing significant financial challenges.  We are taking active steps to ensure our financial sustainability and have a cost improvement plan in place to save in the region of £37million in 2010/11.

“We have successfully delivered savings of £21million to date this year, £500,000 ahead of our target for this time of year and estimate a further £8m of savings by the end of the financial year. We recognise that despite achieving this significant level of savings the Trust is still likely to end the year with a deficit position.

“A consequence of this deficit position, is that it places pressure on the Trust’s cash balances. The Trust has therefore made
arrangements with the Strategic Health Authority and NHS Portsmouth to receive a cash allocation, which will enable the Trust to continue to meet its financial commitments in full.

He added: "This is an accepted procedure for any hospital Trust in this position. We continue to work with our partners in the local health system to find further ways of resolving our deficit position.

“Patient care and the patient experience are and will always be the highest priority of the Trust and we are fully committed to maintaining the excellent quality of service expected from and provided by Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust.”