Around a £340m deficit exists across the NHS in Lancashire and South Cumbria, with more than 60% attributable to Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (LTHTr) and University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT).
Planned short to medium term productivity savings at Royal Lancaster Infirmary and Royal Preston Hospital will be substantial, but will be limited by important structural problems:
Lancashire and South Cumbria is a net importer of workforce due to huge recruitment and retention challenges driven by the quality of our estate. These have impacted our use of resources through high levels of agency spend.
Poor clinical adjacencies have led to diseconomies, higher costs of treating infection rates and duplication of services across multiple sites.
Long transfer times within our hospitals, in particular Royal Preston Hospital, which is an inefficient use of staff time.
The requirements for ambulance transfers across sites at significant cost to UHMBT and LTHTr.
The poor condition of our estate means it lacks sufficient environmental controls and is expensive to run.
Inadequate space for equipment and to provide separation for infection control.
Antiquated IT systems, which increase manual processing times and duplication of tasks.
Not only will replacing old buildings with high quality, net zero carbon buildings be cost- effective to run, but clinical services can be organised in co-located settings to make the best use of staff time.
It is essential that we secure investment in new infrastructure to address these issues and improve the long- term financial position of the NHS in Lancashire and South Cumbria.
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