Walsall Manor hospital needs to make £10m savings

An under-pressure hospital will need to make savings of £10.7 million this year, health bosses have said.

Walsall Manor has highlighted the need to cut down on temporary workers in a bid to cut costs over the next 12 months.

Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust had earmarked savings of £11.4m through its cost improvement programme last year.

It has been set at £10.7m for 2014/15 although bosses admit they face ‘significant financial challenges’ during this year.

The hospital has been battling against rising numbers of admissions, especially from Staffordshire, and saw the bill for agency, bank and locum workers hit £2m for a month last September.

Trust chief executive Richard Kirby said: “We face some significant financial challenges in 2014/15. We are planning for income of £232m and aiming for a surplus of only £500,000 but need to deliver a further £10.7m cost improvement programme and reduce the amount we spend on temporary staffing in order to do so.

“Our capital programme totals £12m and includes resources for the decant ward and critical care unit. The trust’s plan includes very limited reserves and we will need tight financial control throughout the year to deliver successfully.”

Plans for the new £3.4m ward with 30 beds and accommodation on a hospital car park as part of a revamp of the site have taken a step forward as tendering for the project has started. Health bosses have seen emergency admissions rocket over the last 12 months with increasing numbers of patients from Staffordshire.

Between April and October last year there were 16,062 emergency admissions, against a target of around 14,723. The cost of temporary staff has still remained high with a monthly bill of £1.8m in February.