Hospital heads for record overspend

Milton Keynes Hospital
Milton Keynes Hospital

Milton Keynes hospital budget has been branded one of the most unhealthy in the country as it heads towards a whopping £36 million overspend next year.

A National Audit office report this week placed the city’s NHS Foundation Trust among the top overspenders.

Over the past financial year it showed a deficit of £24.9m, which equates to 13.9 per cent of its income.

Over the next year the gap is set to rise to £36.2m, states the audit office.

But surprisingly Trust chief executive Joe Harrison is PLEASED with the balance sheets.

In this year’s annual report he stated: “Although it may seem unusual to be satisfied to note a deficit position, I am very pleased that we delivered our financial plan to make a £24.9m deficit in the year.”

Mr Harrison is among the Trust’s top five earners who have between them pocketed £1.2 million in salaries and pension benefits in 2014/15.

Top of the list is medical director Martin Wetherill, who cost between £345,000 and £340,000. Around £175,000 of that was salary and a further £167,000 is classed as “pension benefits”.

Mr Harrison earned £165,000 plus £65,000 in pension benefits.

Another high earner is the director of finance Jonathan Dunk. His salary was £125,000 and his pension benefits total £105,000.

Mr Harrison told the Citizen the Trust had demonstrated “pragmatic and robust” financial planning and management over the past year.

He said: “The Trust is one of the few in the country to consistently meet its financial plans – accurately forecasting and planning for a financial deficit. The Trust is planning a deficit for 2015-16 and will continue to invest in services and infrastructure to further improve care.”