Hospital trust expects to be over £80 million in deficit by end of the year

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Lincolnshire’s main hospital trust has run up deficits of over £43 million for the first six months of the year alone.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust, which is in financial special measures, is over its planned targets for the end of the year.

But health bosses have insisted that savings will be made and blamed staffing and maintenance costs for the overspends.

ULHT has ran up a deficit of £43.5 million from the first half of the financial year since April.

That is £7.5m over the trust’s plan and officials are now forecasting an overspend of £82.2 million for the end of the year.

It comes as ULHT asked NHS Improvement to revise its deficit target back in April.

Health bosses said higher than planned spending on temporary staff and delays in the sale of assets contributed to the overspend.

ULHT director of finance, Karen Brown, said the trust has a plan to make savings.

She said: “We are working tirelessly to balance the need to save money whilst also improving the quality of care we provide across the whole trust and have a full programme of savings plans which are beginning to deliver improvements.

“We must ensure the focus is on quality improvements that also save money, an example of this can already be seen in our outpatients departments, where we’re seeing more patients quicker than ever before. This means we’re more efficient and productive.

“Our current orthopaedic surgery trial is also helping to improve the experience of our patients, leading to less cancelled operations, reducing length of hospital stay and allowing them access to surgery sooner.

“We are also focussing on the quality of our clinical coding, which means we’re making sure we record exactly what activity we’re doing correctly, so we can invoice more accurately.  This alone will generate an extra £2.6 million of additional income.”