NHS South West Essex back in the black

A primary care trust in Essex which cut jobs and restricted some specialist treatment for patients to save £41m has balanced its books, it is claimed.

Last year NHS South West Essex made 224 staff redundant and introduced such measures as sharing a chief executive with a neighbouring trust.

It said it had dipped into its contingency fund to achieve a balance of £48,000.

The trust has warned it must save a further £55m in the coming year.

The primary care trust commissions health services for Basildon, Billericay, Brentwood, Wickford and Thurrock.

Chief executive of NHS South West Essex, Andrew Pike said: "I know that the impact of our efforts - and subsequent success in achieving financial balance - on staff, partners and patients has been significant.

"But we have never compromised clinical care, which is something that we should all be very proud of."

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