Trusts cuts overruled by health board

8 Jun 00
Plans to eliminate a £1.5m deficit at a Northern Irish NHS trust have been rejected by its local health board, which is unhappy with proposed cuts in services.

09 June 2000

Officials of the Western Health and Social Services Board were due to hold a meeting with the Sperrin Lakeland Trust this week after Public Finance went to press.

The board is expected to press the trust, which has hospitals in Omagh, Co Tyrone, and Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, to scrap proposals that include reducing the number of non-urgent operations by 400, cutting admissions to nursing and residential homes, and restricting children's services.

It is understood that the board has criticised the trust's award of a 10.3% pay rise to domiciliary care assistants last year. It will put forward its own three-point recovery plan, which will include contingency funding for unavoidable pressures, an assessment of the trust's expenditure to uncover inefficient or inappropriate spending and, as a last resort, cutting services.

The trust said it reluctantly agreed its programme of cuts after projecting a revenue overspend of £1.57m in 1999/2000. Increased demand for home care had cost £482,000 in 1999/2000, while the trust had received only £65,000 from the government's waiting list fund, £335,000 less than the previous year.

A spokeswoman said: 'We have not received a formal response from the Western Health and Social Services Board to our proposed recovery plan. However, we are aware that the board has rejected elements of the plan.'

The Western Board said: 'Talks are ongoing but elements of the plan are up for discussion.'


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