Hospital given bail-out

 Royal Bolton Hospital has been given a temporary £13.5m loan to help pay the foundation trust’s bills and wages.

The bail-out was issued after discussions between the Trust’s new chairman David Wakefield and NHS Bolton Commissioning Group.

Dr Wirin Bhatiani, Chairman of NHS Bolton CCG, said the loan was “designed to be a short-term, in-year measure and will run in parallel with the development of longer-term measures and solutions”.

The money will be issued to the Trust between September and December. However, it is unclear who will fund the cash advance. Talks are still ongoing with the hospital to assess whether the funding will come from Bolton CCG, the DH, Monitor or other sources.

The Foundation Trust’s finances were placed under scrutiny by Monitor earlier this year. The health watchdog intervened in the running of the trust when it replaced Cllr Cliff Morrison as chair after finding finances had “deteriorated significantly”.

At the start of the financial year the trust had a deficit of £1.9m but is still expected to save £20m this year, and £50m over the next three years to meet the QIPP agenda.

But Dr Bhatiani said the most important is to help the trust “with its financial shortfall to make sure it continues to function normally”.

“Discussions will continue about how to get this money back,” he said.

“We have to look at the Bolton NHS pound. The CCG is under the same obligations as the Foundation Trust to deliver a financial balance at the end of the year.”