Sheffield hospital’s plan to cut spending

Sheffield Children's Hospital
Sheffield Children's Hospital
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A scheme to save £11.8 million has been launched at Sheffield Children’s Hospital - which faces a ‘real risk of financial difficulties’ unless it reins in spending.

Proposals for a series of cost-cutting measures over the next two years are revealed in a new report.

Plans include offering mobile phones and shopping vouchers to staff in return for sacrificing some of their salary, removing jobs vacant for over a year, and reviewing the way operating theatre lists are managed.

But, despite the need for big savings, more than £230,000 is being spent on staff to oversee the project.

A £40m redevelopment is currently under way at the site on Western Bank, while referrals to the trust increased by nearly 10 per cent last year.

Plans for a £380,000 revamp of the hospital’s outpatient building at the Northern General Hospital were approved last month.

The report to the trust’s board of directors said: “The aim is to reduce the gap between what we spend on delivery of services and what we receive as income, in order to achieve savings of £6.78m in 2014-15 and £5.1m in 2015-16.

“The challenge to achieving our cost improvement targets is significant. We will ensure our plans do not undermine patient safety.”

Meanwhile, a financial report to the board said £2m is currently being held back to cover running costs when the redevelopment is finished, but the trust could find itself in the red once this money is spent.

“There is a real risk the trust will experience financial difficulties by the time the new development opens, unless the increase in cost base can be contained,” said the report.

A hospital spokesman said: “As part of our forward planning it is prudent to identify the challenges we will face in coming years and develop plans to address these.

“To support the organisation to deliver efficiencies we are making an investment to ensure we are able to continue delivering high quality care for the children and young people we serve.”