As the trust that runs the DGH announced the Polegate ward is to close staff at the hospital have been asked to submit any cost saving ideas they have.
In a weekly message sent to staff by the trust’s chief executive Darren Grayson, he explained he had appointed Andrew Murphy as its turnaround director to help recover the financial situation. His aim is to reduce the trust’s expenditure by at least £10million in the last half of the financial year.
In the notice Mr Grayson said over the next eight weeks there would be a ‘period of intense activity’ to address the financial situation but not at the expense of quality and safety.
It read, ‘Andrew has a great deal of experience in turnaround situations and has my authority to action measures to recover our financial position.
‘We need to change the way the organisation works and does things and this process is likely to be challenging for us all.
‘We will be implementing a number of measures which include reducing agency spend and money spent on ad hoc clinics and third party referrals. We will be recruiting more nurses and therapists to reduce our demand for expensive temporary staff. We will be reducing the length of stay in many areas to make more efficient use of our beds and making best use of our theatres. We will also be refreshing our reporting and accountability structures.
‘We should not lose sight of the fact that as an organisation we continue to make good progress on the majority of key performance indicators’.
He also thanked staff for their hard work, adding, ‘The area we need to address is our financial situation. You can help with any saving or efficiency ideas you might have by submitting them to savings ideas so they can be properly considered’.
But Liz Walke, chairman of Save the DGH group, said she hoped Mr Murphy would see that the best way forward was to de-merge the two hospitals (DGH and Conquest) and keep core services at both, adding, “Is this something new? There has been turnaround directors before who don’t appear to have sorted the problem. What solutions is he going to unearth that management missed including previous turnaround directors - David Townsley and Andy Horne who left last month?”