Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Royal Surrey’s 2016/17 budget

The Royal Surrey has set its budget for this financial year (2016/17).

It ended last year with a disastrous deficit of over £11 million resulting in an investigation by NHS Improvement (previously Monitor). The latter will report soon and I expect it to be justly highly critical of budget control and governance. The main cause of the overspending was the recruitment of 200 extra staff for which, in essence, there was no money.

The budget deficit for this year has been set at a staggering £17 million – vastly worse than last year!!! I had hoped to hear that it had set a budget aimed at least at reducing the deficit. The only slight glimmer of hope is that the hospital has set a ‘stretch target’ of saving an extra £7 million over and above the massively challenging savings already listed in the budget. If those extra savings are delivered the outturn will at least be no worse than last year. This will be the challenge for the new turn-around Director who is impressive but not a magician! Governors have asked for monthly reports on progress so as not to be caught out again. One problem will be that although projects to create savings are being urgently formulated they take time to bite and 16% of the financial year has already passed by.

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