St George's Healthcare NHS Trust misses out on £2.5m winter funding
St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust faces a difficult winter after losing out on £2.5m of vital cold weather funding from the Government.
The announcement at the trust's annual general meeting last week means, unlike last year, the trust will not receive extra money during what is traditionally the busiest period for health services.
At a board meeting earlier in the day it was confirmed the trust is especially at risk of a difficult winter after struggling over the summer with unexpected pressure for hospital beds.
MP for Tooting Sadiq Khan, who made the announcement, said: “The extra winter funding is vital to both management and staff at the hospital.
“Without it, I am extremely concerned that the hospital will not be able to cope.”
At the AGM the trust board also expressed their huge disappointment at results of a Care Quality Commission inspection in January where six out of eight standards of care were not achieved.
Other areas of criticism included the trust’s MRSA and C.diff infection record, where in both cases it failed to achieve the minimum threshold.
Alongside these negative issues, the overall picture presented for the trust is positive.
During the last year, St George’s was named as one of 16 trusts with the lowest mortality rates in the country, a key barometer for any hospital.
It achieved all waiting time targets this year, including cancer and accident and emerrgency referrals as well 18-week admissions.
The trust’s Heart Attack Centre was rated by the London Ambulance Service as having a survival rate of 72.4, the best in London.
The trust also saw remarkable advancements and praise for its urological cancer treatment and a new technique, only available at St George’s, which can detect chromosomal abnormalities in babies.
And while public bodies around the country are struggling to find efficiencies following funding cuts, the trust's accounts are in rude health with compulsory redundancies dropping by half compared in 2011-12.
A St George’s Healthcare spokesman said: “Winter is a very busy time for the trust.
“We have plans in place to help us cope with the increased activity including recruiting more staff and having seasonal escalation wards that are only opened in very busy periods."
“We have no plans to reduce the number of NHS services we provide. Foundation trusts are able to generate up to 49 per cent of income through private services.
“It is important to note this is not the same as providing 49 per cent of services privately. St George’s will not be anywhere near 49 per cent of its income as a result.
“Any services we provide to private patients either now or in the future are in addition to and not at the expense of NHS services, and all income generated is ploughed straight back into frontline NHS services.
“We are currently awaiting results of our latest CQC inspection.
“The initial feedback we have had is that we performed significantly better in the latest inspection.“
People can also call NHS 111 by freephoning 111 at any time of the day or night, seven days a week.
Read the trust’s full report on St George's Healthcare NHS Trust's website.
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