Stafford's hospital trust to miss A&E targets again - and face £10m fine
County Hospital bosses have predicted another gloomy year for patients warning they will likely fail to meet A&E and treatment targets – landing a £10 million fine.
University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, which runs the site at Weston Road, Stafford, as well as the large Royal Stoke, is undergoing another difficult winter with both hospitals described as ‘full’.
Now the organisation has indicated that the underperformance will continue into the new financial year, which starts in April.
It has stated that in 2018/19 it did ‘not anticipate’ achieving targets for the four-hour wait benchmark in A&E and the referral to treatment standard (RTT), which aims for patients to start consultant-led treatment within 18 weeks of being referred.
A report adds: “this will mean that the Trust will continue to be exposed to £10m of fines from its commissioners.”
It comes as a further blow to UHNM’s balance sheet after the trust was placed in financial special measures last year.
Stafford Borough Council member Christine Baron, on the Stafford and Surrounds Patients Liaison Group, declared the problems facing the NHS nationally were ‘complicated’, but pointed to staffing issues as a priority.
Richard Beeken, chief operating officer at the NHS Trust, said: “Although we don’t anticipate achieving either the 18 week Referral to Treatment Standard or the A&E 4 Hour Standard, we will be doing everything we can to ensure as many patients as possible are seen within these targets.”
Chief executive, Paula Clark, said: “UHNM was placed into financial special measures in March 2017. This brings with it additional scrutiny and we continue to work closely with NHS Improvement.”