About us

Trust welcomes financial review

02 June 2015

Health Care

Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has pledged to reduce its financial deficit whilst continuing to provide high quality care to local people.

Monitor, the NHS foundation trust regulator, has announced plans to review the trust's finances and follows Southend's own commitment to transforming the way it delivers services to ensure both quality and value for money.

The move comes after the trust recorded a planned deficit in the previous financial year of £9 million and is again forecasting a planned deficit in this financial year.

Alan Tobias OBE, chairman said:  "The overspend is a result of vital investment in services and more staff to ensure high standards of patient care as well as the rise in attendances the hospital is continuing to see.

"Having a planned deficit has seen our continuity of service risk rating (CoSRR) drop from 2 to 1, and means Monitor, the health regulator, is planning to carry out a review of our finances.

"The review is an automatic requirement of its role in respect of any NHS Foundation Trust which is forecasting deficit and Monitor rightly needs to ensure our future plans are financially sustainable.

"We welcome this review and we will take this opportunity to clearly demonstrate to Monitor - as well as our patients and stakeholders - our future financial plans are both robust and sustainable."

As part of its transformation plans, which aim to modernise and redevelop services over the next five years at Southend University Hospital, the trust is committed to returning to a surplus within three years.

Sue Hardy, chief executive, said: "Over the past few years our staff have demonstrated great commitment to working more efficiently and effectively, and together we have managed to deliver considerable costs savings whilst maintaining services and standards.

"We have rightly taken a deliberate decision to prioritise the quality and safety of patient care over financial performance in our business planning, for example, the necessary use of agency staff - at an increased cost - to fill vacant nursing positions while permanent staff were recruited.

"But we have not been complacent about overspending and although the high cost of agency staff has been a major contribution, we have been praised for how we have tackled this in recent months.

"We have seen demand on Southend University Hospital's services increase over the past two to three years, including increasing pressure on our emergency department year round and acute demands over the winter period. 

"But we remain fully committed to continuing to work with our local health and social care partners to secure the highest standards of care for our communities, but which also offer the best value for money, as demand continues to grow."