England

Morecambe Bay NHS Trust must save '£1 for every £5' spent

Sir David Henshaw
Image caption Sir David said the trust would "ask for the views of the public as the people who use and pay for our services"

The chairman of a Lancashire and Cumbria hospital trust has announced it must save "£1 for every £5" spent to balance its budget within five years.

Sir David Henshaw said the details of the savings at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Trust, which runs four hospitals, had yet to be decided.

He said the trust had spent extra money in order to make services safe.

"As a result of this, if we do nothing, the trust will face a serious financial challenge," he said.

The NHS trust, which runs the Furness and Westmorland General hospitals, the Royal Lancaster Infirmary and Queen Victoria Hospital in Morecambe, has faced several poor reports and investigations in recent years.

'Serious financial challenge'

Sir David, who took up the role of chairman in March, said that while the trust had "made great progress, there is still a lot to do to ensure that services remain safe and sustainable in the long term".

"The safety of our patients must always be our priority and in order to stabilise the trust and make services safe, we needed to spend extra money," he said.

"As result of this, and additional cost pressures faced by the whole of the NHS, if we do nothing, the trust will face a serious financial challenge.

"The trust forecasts that it will take up to five years for it to return to a positive financial position, with the need to save the equivalent of £1 for every £5 it currently spends."

He said the decision on how to make the savings still to be made but the trust would "ask for the views of the public as the people who use and pay for our services".

"At the moment, we don't have a list of detailed options as these will be developed with local doctors and the public," he said.

"What we do have at this stage are items for future consideration, such as perhaps emergency helicopter links to improve patient transfer times across Morecambe Bay."

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