England

Trusts placed in special measures over finances

Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital
Image caption Hospital trusts in North Lincolnshire, North Midlands and south west London have been placed in financial special measures

Three hospital trusts struggling to meet savings targets have been placed in financial special measures.

North Lincolnshire and Goole, University Hospitals of North Midlands and St George's University Hospitals trusts have a predicted combined deficit of £145m.

NHS Improvement - a department set up to aid "rapid financial improvement" - is responsible for the move.

Chief Executive Jim Mackey said trusts must "keep a strong grip on finances".

He said the trusts involved were not on course to meet their savings targets, and placing them in financial special measures would help get them the support needed to improve.

NHS experts will now work with the trusts to make sure money is not being spent without proper checks and controls.

The trusts will also receive help with planning staff rotas more effectively, so there is less reliance on high-cost agency workers.

NHS Improvement said the programme has already saved about £100m in 2016/17 at other trusts.

'Dedicated staff'

Reacting to the news, Nicholas Dakin, the Labour MP for Scunthorpe, said: "It is a real blow that Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Trust is being placed in financial special measures."

He stressed the move was no reflection on the "dedicated staff trying to deliver services", but added: "Financially the NHS is creaking, underfunded by this Conservative government."

Sir David Henshaw, interim chair at St George's, said: "We are taking steps to reduce our financial deficit, whilst also tackling the long-standing and systemic problems the trust faces."

He added that "despite significant problems we are making good progress".

Seven other trusts are already in financial special measures, including North Bristol NHS Trust and Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

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