NHS trust placed into special measures for finance

NHS Improvement has decided to place Isle of Wight NHS Trust into special
measures for financial reasons for financial under performance and an ongoing
significant deficit.

For the current financial year, in January, the trust confirmed an increased deficit of
£13m more than its original financial plan and has not yet been able to sufficiently
explain the deterioration or how it will be addressed.

The trust is already in special measures for quality and while the trust has placed
considerable focus on improving the quality of care for local patients, the trust has
not placed equal focus on improving their finances.

The trust is now expected to develop a plan to make sustained improvements to both
its quality and financial performance. Any improvements to its financial position must
not have a negative impact on the quality of care.

Financial special measures is designed to help NHS trusts facing the biggest financial challenges. Under the integrated oversight of the Regional Director for the South East for both NHS Improvement and NHS England, support for the trust from both organisations will be aligned to help develop and implement this plan. This support will include:

  • Appointment of Financial Improvement Director to focus on improving
    financial rigour at the trust;
  • Review of the trust’s Cost Improvement Programme planning to maximise the
    opportunities for efficiency savings;
  • Streamlined oversight of delivery from NHS Improvement and NHS England
    creating a single improvement conversation.

Confirming the decision, Anne Eden, Regional Director South East, NHS
Improvement and NHS England said: “Despite the unique challenges faced by the island’s geography and the efforts of staff at the trust, the current financial position at the trust is not sustainable. There is strong evidence to show that high quality care and financial grip go hand in hand and the trust must now drive improvements at pace to ensure local patients consistently receive high quality, safe and cost-effective care.”

Maggie Oldham, Chief Executive, Isle of Wight NHS Trust said: “Like many NHS organisations the IOW NHS Trust has for some time had a worsening financial deficit. This is because we have invested in necessary improvements, and have cared for an increased numbers of patients.

“Our costs have risen significantly, and we have not been able to deliver all the efficiency
savings that we hoped to. Some of this is due to the specific costs related to our island
situation. Particularly the difficulty of recruiting enough permanent staff, which has
resulted in us spending more on temporary staffing fees.

“We also recognise that we need to continue to develop alternatives to treating people in
hospital. Our Community and Mental Health services need more development. This will
ensure that patients and service users are supported with a range of suitable care options
tailored to their needs.

“We are working in partnership as a Health and Social Care System to plan and deliver
improvements together, that will provide us with clinically sustainable services. Working
with NHS Improvement Financial Special Measures team, will provide us with additional
focus and support to ensure that our clinical services are also financially sustainable.