�29m slashed off health deficit

A WHOPPING �29 million has been wiped from the crippling financial black hole facing Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Trust. Health chiefs say the savings have been made through working more efficiently and hiring fewer agency workers, who often cost

A WHOPPING �29 million has been wiped from the crippling financial black hole facing Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Trust.

Health chiefs say the savings have been made through working more "efficiently" and hiring fewer agency workers, who often cost more.

The accounts of the financial year still show the trust - which runs King George Hospital, Barley Lane, Goodmayes, and Queen's Hospital, Rom Valley Way, Romford - declaring a �23million deficit.

Interim director of finance Phil Church said: "At the beginning of the financial year we committed to achieving a limited overspend of �23million.


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"We have hit that target and, as part of a turnaround programme, delivered savings of �29million.

"We are particularly pleased that this has been achieved at the same time as making considerable improvements in performance."

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Staff have been thanked for their hard work in achieving the target, which included saving �5million through changing the way they buy supplies and equipment.

A decision to outsource the non-essential services, such as laundry, to private contractors has also seen the trust recoup "several millions".

Bosses have stressed services are not under threat, despite the notable cash savings, and have recently hit the 18-week target for referrals and have cut waiting times in casualty - meaning 98 per cent of patients are seen, treated and discharged in four hours.

Mr Church said: "We are delivering real improvements on patient care. There is still a long way to go, with new targets being set all the time.

"But finding new efficient ways of working means we have better-run hospitals delivering better patients care day by day.

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