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Cash-strapped Dudley NHS trust likely to borrow

By Richard Guttridge | Dudley | Health | Published:

Bosses at an NHS trust say they are still likely to need to borrow money before the end of the year in an attempt to solve its cash crisis.

Russells Hall

The Dudley Group NHS Trust, which runs Russells Hall Hospital, said it had received some support from the local clinical commissioning group (CCG) to address its financial struggles but that a loan would still be needed in December.

It comes after the Express & Star revealed in July the trust was on course to run out of money this month.

Emergency plans have been drawn up to try and raise more money including selling off surplus land and borrowing cash.

A new board report confirmed there were plans to borrow money before the end of the year.

It said: "Some progress has been made with Dudley CCG to assist us with our cash position, but we are still forecasting the need for cash borrowing in December 2019."

However, the report also said there had been "encouraging discussions with partners on smoothing cash payments which may negate the need to borrow cash".

The startling financial position of the trust was laid bare in July when bosses warned a “failure to maintain liquidity in 2019/20 and beyond” and a “failure to remain financially stable in 2019/20” were both red risks.

Director of finance Tom Jackson revealed this week the trust spends around £1 million every day.

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Although urgently seeking a solution to cash flow issues, trust bosses insisted “quality and safety of services always takes priority over finances".

Trust chief executive Diane Wake said in July: "Like every other NHS trust, we are operating in a challenging environment and we have been monitoring our finances very closely.

"We are doing everything we can to reduce discretionary spending and drive efficiencies through our waste reduction.”

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Investigations Editor - @RichG_star

Investigations Editor for the Express & Star.

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