Merger hospital trusts in the red
Royal Surrey and Ashford and St Peter’s are facing deficits
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.