King George and Queen’s Hospitals NHS trust publishes plan to save £100m in two years

Romford Town centre gv's. Queen's Hospital

Romford Town centre gv's. Queen's Hospital - Credit: Archant

The NHS trust which runs both Queen’s and King George Hospitals has published a financial plan which it believes will help local healthcare bosses make £100million of savings over the next two years.

King George Hospital in Goodmayes. Photo: Ken Mears

King George Hospital in Goodmayes. Photo: Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

The document, published by the Barking, Havering, and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust (BHRUT), makes what the trust refers to as a “top down case for change” as it outlines some of the methods both it and the boroughs’ clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are planning to use to secure the trust’s long-term finances.

An overview describes how the trust “has a long history of poor financial performance” but argues there are no structural issues within the organisation which are causing this, but that a cultural change is necessary.

“We need to improve our core processes to support highly efficient, profitable elective pathways; overhaul the way we look after outpatients and increase the resilience of our A&E performance,” the report says.

“Our trust and the CCG are serious about working together, demonstrated by an agreement to stop ‘intercompany squabbling’ and persue ‘real savings’ of £60m, which will then be shared equally to send a clear message that working together is good.”

The CCGs have agreed to a 50/50 approach to savings that it is hoped will see local healthcare make the required efficiencies over the next 24 months.

A joint statement from the trust and the borough’s CCGs sees the organisations pledge to work together to rise to the next two years’ budgetary challenges.

Most Read

It reads: “BHRUT and the BHR CCGs are committed to working together to realise £60m of real cash savings and to sharing this equally between them to bring both parties back to break-even.

“The scope of the savings will be all areas of joint spend (i.e. where both parties have income/expenditure) and will need the parties to work together on both how the savings are realised and how the rewards are shared between them through contractual mechanisms.

“This programme of work will be achieved whilst ensuring we protect the financial integrity and sustainability of NELFT.”

As of the end of January 2019, BHRUT says it has identified intiatives which it estimates should result in net savings of £33m – just above half its £60m target.

The trust’s document also reveals a number of key drivers for the current systemic deficit have been idenitified.

These include around £40m of historic underfunding, the highest number of referrals per 1,000 people in north central and east London, and a large number of residents of eastern European descent who historically not attend GPs but instead present themselves immediately at hospital.

The trust believes the next step is to select two or three areas in which to pilot money-saving ideas, and then roll out those which are proven to work across the trust.

It aims to start delivering savings by the start of the next financial year on April 1, 2019.

A spokeswoman from Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge CCGs said: “BHRUT’s financial recovery plan is aligned to the wider NHS system-plan for Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge, which aims to transform services and improve outcomes for our patients.

“The local NHS organisations are developing these plans together and are all committed to their delivery.”