Inspectors damn our hospitals

BARKING, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust is the worst performing in the country, racking up a deficit of more than �35million. The trust s financial performance was labelled inadequate in an Audit Commission report published last

BARKING, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust is the worst performing in the country, racking up a deficit of more than �35million.

The trust's financial performance was labelled "inadequate" in an Audit Commission report published last week.

Health chiefs scored an overall rating of one out of a possible four.

The beleaguered trust, which had a deficit of �35,674,000 for 2008/2009, scored the lowest possible rating on its financial management, standing and reporting.


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It scored only a slightly higher rating of two on value for money and internal control - an improvement on last year.

The trust was one of only six in the country which failed to achieve a financial balance.

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The second worst trust was Queen Mary's in Sidcup, Kent, which had a deficit of �10,991,000 - nearly �25million less than BHR.

The trust was quick to point out it had improved on last year, saying: "As the report points out, the trust is dealing with a substantial historic debt that dates back several years.

"If a trust is recording a deficit, then the Auditors' Local Evaluation gives it an automatic overall rating of 'inadequate'.

"However, the trust has made savings of �28million in the past financial year, and has increased its score from 'inadequate' to 'adequate' in seven of the 13 key areas examined by the auditors.

"This means that we are now performing adequately in nine of these areas and are on course to eradicate the deficit.

"We are in the middle of a successful turnaround programme to tackle our financial situation.

"Patient care is our main priority and we are working to ensure that we can make savings without impacting on frontline services.

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