Two thirds of region’s hospitals face deficits

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Two more NHS trusts running hospitals in Yorkshire are predicting deficits in the year ahead.

For the first time in its 14-year history, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is forecasting it will be in the red, with debts of £11 million by next March.

Managers at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have also drawn up a deficit budget amid predictions it will be £3.5m in debt in 2015-16 due to a combination of reduced payments for care, rising costs and additional investment in quality and safety.

Of 15 NHS trusts serving the region, at least 10 are now expected to be in the red by March. Analysis by The Yorkshire Post suggests debts will exceed £100 million in total but could be significantly higher amid a worsening financial crisis across the NHS.

Neil Priestley, director of finance at the Sheffield trust, said the deficit was a result of national changes to the amount of money it was paid, alongside rising costs and growing demand for care.

Nearly £7m of the gap related to planned spending on essential clinical IT systems.

He said: “Our staff work exceptionally hard to try and find new ways of delivering care and being as efficient as possible and we will continue to do all we can to achieve a break even position by addressing the remaining £4m if at all possible. At this stage we do not anticipate there will be a significant impact on services or jobs as £11m, whilst a large number, is less than one per cent of our £1 billion budget.”