Barking’s hospitals’ trust has been losing money for five years

BARKING, Havering and Redbridge University NHS Trust failed to balance its books in the five years ending 31 March 2010.

An Audit Commission report shows that the Trust, which manages Queen’s Hospital, Romford, and King George Hospital, Goodmayes, failed to meet its statutory financial duty.

The disclosure, released in the public interest, means the Trust will have let other organisations take a look at its books to improve its finances.

Jon Hayes, district auditor and author of the report, said: “The Trust has consistently struggled to deliver agreed saving plans and there is not an embedded culture which recognises the importance of financial management. The Trust will need to work with local partners to achieve a sustainable improvement in its financial position.”

David Wragg, director of finance at the Trust, said: “While we accept the Audit Commission’s findings, it is important to point out that there have been steady and continuous improvements in our financial position.

“We are confident that further significant progress will be made over the coming year, and we are still on target to achieve Foundation Trust status by 2014.