Health Trust hit by rising debts

NHS bosses are struggling against mounting debts due to increased pressure at Eastbourne’s hospital, it was revealed on Wednesday (December 15).

East Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs both Eastbourne District General Hospital and Conquest Hospital in Hastings, said debts stretched to £6 million, having overspent by £742,000 in November.

Andy Horne, the trust’s interim director of finance, said the mounting debt was due to increased workload.

So far the trust has seen an unexpected 1,499 extra patients being referred into hospital by their GPs since April 1.

There has also been a rise of almost two per cent in the number of patients’ operations across both hospitals compared to last year.

Hundreds of thousands of pounds has also been spent on outside agencies to recruit staff and extra ad-hoc clinics throughout the year to cope with demand.

Earlier this year the trust took out a £6 million loan to help clear debts and cover things like unexpected demand on its services.

It has to pay off the loan over the next four years.