Barts Health calls in financial experts as it falls £15million behind target

Barts Hospital

Barts Hospital - Credit: Archant

As many as 1,000 jobs could be cut by Barts Health as the hospital trust revealed it has been losing £2million a week.

The trust, which was created after a merger between Newham University Hospital NHS Trust, Whipps Cross University Hospital NHS Trust, and Barts and The London NHS Hospital Trust, became the largest in the NHS in April 2012.

It had planned to save £77 million this financial year but has put itself in ‘financial turnaround’ three months into the financial year and brought in financial specialists as it is already £15 million behind target.

In a statement, Barts Health NHS Trust said: “We wish to be clear that Barts Health is not in administration. Having not met our own financial targets for the first quarter of the financial year, we have, with immediate effect, placed ourselves in financial turnaround.

Financial turnaround has not been imposed on us, and by taking this decision proactively and at the earliest possible opportunity, we believe we have acted responsibly to secure our longterm financial viability, allowing us to continue to provide world-class healthcare to the people of east London and beyond.”

The trust is also preparing to unveil plans that could lead to cuts to its 15,000 workforce and services in an attempt to solve its financial problems.

Bernell Bussue, Royal College of Nursing London Regional Director, said: “It is disappointing that this step has to be taken so soon after last year’s merger, which management had assured us would bring a sustainable future for the trust.

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“The safe delivery of care must be the priority. A million people in east London depend on Barts Health for services which are now under threat.

“Proper engagement of the trade unions and professional bodies at the trust is key to finding a realistic and achievable financial plan for the future.

“The hole in the finances cannot be plugged by making further cuts to an already stretched workforce.”

The trust, which has sometimes been called a ‘supertrust’, contains six separate hospitals in east and north-east London, including the Royal London with the London Air Ambulance, Newham University Hospital, Barts, Whipps Cross.

It provides a wide range of healthcare services for the residents of Tower Hamlets, Newham, Waltham Forest and further afield. Barts Health also runs the Barking Birthing Centre in Upney Lane, Barking which opened in May 2012 and the Barkantine Birth Centre on the Isle of Dogs.