Merger hos­pi­tal trusts in the red

Royal Sur­rey and Ash­ford and St Peter’s are fac­ing deficits

Staines Informer - - NEWS - James Watkins

TWO hos­pi­tal trusts aim­ing to merge are fac­ing fi­nan­cial deficits this year, with one more con­sid­er­able than the other.

Royal Sur­rey County Hos­pi­tal and Ash­ford and St Peter’s are in the fi­nal stages of join­ing and the trusts have said that while they will both ben­e­fit fi­nan­cially it will also lead to im­prove­ments in pa­tient care.

The deficit fore­cast at Royal Sur­rey this year is £7.5 mil­lion, and Ash­ford and St Peter’s are an­tic­i­pat­ing a deficit of £167,000.

Suzanne Rankin, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of Ash­ford and St Peter’s, said there are a num­ber of na­tional is­sues af­fect­ing the trusts.

She said: “Par­tic­u­larly for us is high de­mand on health care ser­vices, par­tic­u­larly the el­derly and those pa­tients con­tinue to call on, quite rightly, us to pro­vide good qual­ity health care for their ever-in­creas­ing com­pli­cated needs.”

Mrs Rankin said the trusts were also af­fected by na­tional aus­ter­ity and ef­fi­ciency needs.

One ben­e­fit of the merger would be giv­ing the clin­i­cians more ex­po­sure to pa­tients across the two trusts, Mrs Rankin said, as it was the best way to prac­tice and in­crease skills, par­tic­u­larly in the trusts’ spe­cial­i­ties of car­dio­vas­cu­lar and can­cer care.

Louise Stead, chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer and di­rec­tor of nurs­ing and pa­tient ex­pe­ri­ence at Royal Sur­rey, said: “If we look at what we need to have to de­liver that seven day ser­vice across one site, it is com­pletely un­af­ford­able in the cur­rent en­vi­ron­ment.

“Across two sites we are go­ing to be able to do that.”

They have ad­mit­ted there will be changes to care and to staffing, but that this will mainly af­fect se­nior ar­eas, such as the need to only have one team of board mem­bers.

Mrs Stead said: “We wont be mak­ing changes as a joint choice based on what is con­ve­nient for us as a man­age­ment, but mak­ing changes based on best qual­ity of care for pa­tients.”

n Pub­lic meet­ings to dis­cuss the merger were due to be held at Haslewey Com­mu­nity Cen­tre in Hasle­mere on Mon­day this week from 7pm to 8.30pm, and at the education cen­tre of Ash­ford Hos­pi­tal last night (Wed­nes­day) from 6.30pm-8pm.

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