Hospital trust needs to save £104million

HOSPITAL bosses have admitted they need to find a whopping £104million in savings by 2015.

The head of East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs the DGH and its sister site in Hastings, made the revelation at its annual general meeting earlier this week.

Darren Grayson, chief executive, outlined the precarious financial position the Trust finds itself in just months after it went cap in hand to the local primary care trust (PCT) for more cash. The PCT controls the purse strings for the hospital service and released an extra £15.7million to the Trust after figures for the last financial year showed savings of around £14.4million.

Mr Grayson told the AGM that the mammoth £104million figure included the last year but said it still represented a significant challenge.

Speaking on Wednesday he said, “The reality is that the costs of what we do and the demand will go up between four to five per cent each year.

“Our financial performance as a trust has not been good in the past and our commissioners were able to help us, as there was a lot of money around. But that has now come to an end. We have to stand on our own two feet. This challenge should not be underestimated.”

The Trust came under fire earlier this year after the Herald used the Freedom of Information Act to uncover spending of more than £4million on outside consultants – with a large chunk given to financial experts to help the Trust find ways of saving money.

It is also in the middle of controversial plans to centralise key services although Mr Grayson denies these proposals are down to cost cutting.