NHS deficit reaches £1 billion in three months

AS A RESULT of the newly revealed deficit, NHS trusts in England will now be under immense pressure and it is feared that patient care, along with waiting times will be significantly affected. Niamh Goodwin reports.

This figure is more than last years £820 million overspend and it’s been said it may reach £2 billion by the end of this financial year.

Royal South Hants Hospital
Royal South Hants Hospital

However, high quality patient care is something the NHS say they are determined to maintain, with Head of Commercial Finance for University Hospital Southampton (UHS), Ram Jassi stating how although it is hard, UHS have: “…dedicated staff who deeply care about what they do”.

He also added how UHS:“employs over 10,000 staff so you [they] have to work together to deliver efficient services without compromising quality”.

Jassi also raised concerns about the increased pressure the healthcare system is under, especially during winter months:

“With high occupancy rates and patients not being discharged promptly, it creates more pressure on the healthcare system”.

In Southampton however, waiting times in A&E appear to have already been impacted.

University student Jenna Hibbs

We spoke to University student Jenna Hibbs, who was recently in A&E with a knee injury. She expressed her concerns with quality of care and waiting times and she explained how:

“The ambulance did take an hour and forty minutes to get to us, and it’s not nice when you’re in pain and they can’t give you painkillers”.

Looking forward, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt wants to clamp down on the use of agencies, which will cost the NHS over £3 billion.

For Ram Jassi the delivery of service is imperative for the future:

“Innovation is key. There is always room for improvement, so it’s important we challenge ourselves to do this”.

Maddie Milton has more.