Warning of job losses at Sussex mental health trust
By Ian Birch
The Sussex Partnership NHS mental health trust's finanace director, Sally Flint, has reportedly sent a memo out to all 4,500 of its staff warning of its £300,000 deficit. The trust is reported to have overspent in April by £450,000 pounds.
Lisa Rodrigues, chief executive, is also reported to have written: “We have £13.6 million less with which to do a great deal more work than last year. For the first month of the financial year we have not fully got to grips with our tighter plan.
“As a result we are reporting a deficit of £300,000, which is £450,000 behind plan. Our people have done well, but we have to do much better."
A trust spokesman told the Hastings Observer newspaper:
“We have made no secret of the need to achieve tough cost savings this year in order to protect front line services. We are confident that we can achieve our target with the help of staff across the trust.
“At this early stage, it is important that we get back on track and the message from Sally Flint reminds all staff of this.”
According to the trust's latest report, In 2010 it made a great number of improvements such as:
• People who need help urgently are seen within four hours, day or night, every day of the year
• People know how they can expect to improve after using its services thanks to its systems to record and measure progress
• Its patient satisfaction scores are at 91%
• Its policies and systems have been independently assessed and rigorously tested
• Its services have the full confidence of the Care Quality Commission
A self-selecting poll on the NHS website showed that 37% would recommend the trust, based an an extremely small sample, but many of the comments were extremely positive. It is a sad sign of the times that mental health trusts are being forced to cutback staff and services across the country during the double-dip recession and the coalition's austerity measures. It is to be hoped that Sussex Partnership NHS Trust is able to maintain the high standards it has achieved recently despite the fierce cost savings it is facing.