Hospital finances are ‘not clear enough’

A HEALTH campaigner and the MP for Eastbourne have criticised the NHS trust which runs the DGH for not being up front enough about its finances.

Liz Walke, who heads up the Save The DGH group, and Lib Dem MP Stephen Lloyd are calling for more transparency as far as East Sussex Healthcare Trust’s budgets and spending plans are concerned.

The pair have criticised East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (ESHT) for making it difficult for people outside the hospital’s hierarchy to properly access a detailed breakdown of its accounts – an accusation the DGH firmly denies.

Mr Lloyd said, “Despite all the discussion and reports that have taken place over the last year or so we have yet to see any detailed breakdowns of the hospitals financial situation.”

And Ms Walke added, “Finding out about ESHT finances is like getting blood from a stone. Despite several Freedom of Information requests we have yet to receive the financial breakdown of all the areas they have been focusing on.

“Furthermore, we have now been told that we cannot have the staff costs split between the DGH and the Conquest. Why have they not got these figures? They should be the basis of any decisions. What better way to check efficiency than to compare. How can you know what each hospital is costing if the staff aren’t split?

“ESHT has said its finances are not good despite being bailed out by the PCT to the tune of £14 million. Where did the budgets, agreed last year, go wrong?”

A spokesman for the DGH responded, “The trust is scrupulous in placing information in the public domain. Detailed financial reports are made available at our public board meetings and on our website. We know our reports are among the best in the public sector and as good as many large scale private companies.

“There is no substance whatsoever in these claims that we do not make financial information public.”