THE trust behind Queen’s Hospital has been warned that it is being ‘too optimistic’ in its financial forecast.
Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been told by Monitor to go back to the drawing board to re-think its budgets for 2015/16, after the financial watchdog found it was a little too rosy to be realistic.
The trust was one of many in the UK to receive a letter from the organisation calling for them to reassess their plans.
In the letter, which was revealed to the Independent newspaper, trusts were warned: “It is vital that individual boards, Monitor and fellow regulators have a realistic view of the scale of the financial challenge faced over the next few years.”
Monitor is particularly concerned that trusts are overestimating the amount of savings which will be delivered through efficiencies being made in the organisations.
The regulator said there was little ‘robust evidence’ to support the claims which had been made.
Monitor is a frequent friend to the organisation behind Queen’s, which has had financial issues for several years.
Helen Ashley (pictured), chief executive at the beleaguered Burton trust, said: “I can confirm that the trust did receive a letter from Monitor which followed their review of all trusts’ two year operational plans, and established a number of initial findings.
“Given the trust’s already challenged financial position, we are already in regular discussions with Monitor about our two year plan, that we submitted to Monitor at the end of March.
“In line with all other foundation trusts we will consider Monitor’s findings and revisit our financial projections before we submit our five year plan at the end of June 2014.”
The trust is still working to slash £19 million from its budget before 2015, in a bid to meet its cost improvement plan. It has regularly fallen short of requirements.