OUH finances probed by NHS Improvement
NHS Improvement launched an investigation into the finances of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in May 2017. This was due to the trust’s deteriorating financial performance compared to its plan, from January to March this year.
The purpose of the investigation, which is ongoing, is to determine whether the Trust needs support to return to a financially sustainable position, and if so, what form that support should take.
Rosalind Pearce, Executive Director, Healthwatch Oxfordshire, said: “Healthwatch Oxfordshire has been aware of a significant over-spend at OUH, and that the Trust management is going to have to make difficult decisions to address it.
“Our position remains that patient care must remain at the forefront of any recommendations made by either the Trust Board or NHS Improvement, and that any decisions arising from this investigation must not have a negative impact on that care.
“We are particularly concerned, given that both waiting times for surgery and the number of delayed transfers of care have risen in recent months, that any financial measures should be focusing on back-office functions and unnecessary spending in non-clinical areas, not frontline patient care. We will continue to monitor this closely.
“Healthwatch Oxfordshire welcomes any support that NHI can provide to OUHFT to assist it in delivering quality and timely care. Hopefully the investigation will find that the Trust is managing its finances properly and that they find a need for additional funds to be made available to support the Trust to address waiting times and reduce the waiting times for people leaving hospital who need care at home.”