Trust failings under scrutiny
THE health trusts which control Weston General Hospital have been criticised by a major watchdog for their financial failings. Weston Area Health Trust and North Somerset Primary Care Trust were among the 25 trusts around the country singled out in the Au
THE health trusts which control Weston General Hospital have been criticised by a major watchdog for their financial failings.Weston Area Health Trust and North Somerset Primary Care Trust were among the 25 trusts around the country singled out in the Audit Commission's latest report, Learning the Lessons from Financial Failure in the NHS.The commission picked out the trusts as all making similar monetary mistakes and suggested ways other trusts could operate so they did not meet the same fate.Weston Area Health Trust (WAHT) finished the last financial year with a deficit of £6.9million and North Somerset PCT finished £4.2million in the red.The Audit Commission is an independent body set up to make sure public money is being spent correctly.In the report, WAHT is highlighted for not reporting the possibility of deficit soon enough. All the trusts were criticised for poor leadership.However, the trust bosses say the evidence the commission used in its report is up to two years old.Since March 2006, both trusts have been working in the Department of Health's Turnaround programme and working with a turnaround director.WAHT chief executive Mark Gritten said: "Everyone involved recognises the trust has a significant recurring deficit it has been trying to recover over the past few years and is continuing to resolve."It is also recognised this is due to the trust's poor income position and it actually offers good value for money and has good financial control."The work we have been doing over the past four months on financial recovery has now produced a five to 10-year financial plan, which is based on a financial model prepared by the Department of Health and the Foundation Trust regulator, Monitor.