Havering health trust slammed for �117m deficit

HAVERING’S health trust has been criticised for failing to meet its statutory financial duties, leaving its deficit to rocket to �117million.

An Audit Commission report published this week says Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) has “consistently struggled” to deliver agreed savings plans.

It adds: “There is not an embedded culture which recognises the importance of financial management.” The report also highlights the “seriousness” of the trust’s current position and the action it needs to take to improve.

It is said it failed to meet its statutory financial duty of achieving cumulative break-even in the five years to March 31.

Recommendations, including a review of the existing recovery plan, have been made.

David Wragg, director of finance for BHRUT, which runs Queen’s Hospital, Rom Valley Way, Romford, said: “While we accept the Audit Commission’s findings, it is important to point out that there have been steady and continuous improvements in our financial position.

“We are confident that further significant progress will be made over the coming year, and we are still on target to achieve foundation trust status by 2014.

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“The trust has reduced its recurring deficit every year since 2007/8, and will do so again this year.

“We have also improved our efficiency year-on-year.”