Hospital bosses discussed how to tackle a £28 million deficit at a board meeting in Brighton today (Monday 25 January).
They had planned to report a deficit for the financial year but are losing more money faster than they had budgeted.
The reasons include an over-reliance on agency nurses and locum doctors at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.
And savings plans are not plugging the financial gaps quickly enough, according to a report to the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust board.
They will also be trying to increase funding from clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).
The finance report said: “The trust is reporting a £28.9 million year to date deficit at the end of December 2015.
“This is £10.9 million behind the revised Trust Development Authority (TDA) plan of £17.8 million year to date.
“The trust is forecasting a deficit of £37.7 million by the end of the year. This is £21 million away from the revised stretched planned deficit of £16.7 million.
“There are significant risks to delivering financial performance and there are financial recovery processes in place to mitigate these risks.
“The year-to-date position reflects the trust’s assessment of activity and income levels delivered for the year-to-date positions.
“The trust has shared the forecast income position with commissioners and these have informed the discussions, which are ongoing.
“The trust has agreed payment by results contracts with both local clinical commissioning groups and NHS England.
“(The) trust’s elective activity is behind plan but is ahead of last year.
“The efficiency programme requires focus, particularly with a number of schemes scheduled to start in the latter part of the year.
“The early efficiency programme slippage needs to be recovered and we have work in place to address this.
“Spending on temporary staffing in the booking hub, medical and nursing staffing, and the contract for hotel services require tighter control.
“The trust is also reviewing its locum rates and pursuing overseas nursing recruitment in order to mitigate increasing staffing costs.”
Dozens of nurses from the Philippines are about to start work at the trust after delays in obtaining work visas for them.
The Guardian reported widespread problems with NHS trusts struggling to stay within budget this year.
The newspaper said: “Hospitals are spending more than their budgets as they struggle to cope with what one NHS leader called a triple whammy’ of growing demand for care, £2bn of unexpected staff costs and the service’s finances being the tightest for years.”
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