Leading FT reports £16.5m deficit
23 March, 2015 | By Sophie Barnes HSJ
FINANCE: One of the country’s leading foundation trusts has reported a year to date deficit of £16.5m.
University College London Hospitals Foundation Trust said this was due to a “shortfall” in funding it receives for highly specialist work as one of the London teaching hospitals, known as Project Diamond funding.
In the minutes for the trust’s February board meeting, chief executive Sir Robert Naylor said the trust received £20m of funding in 2013-14 but it had only been offered £5m for 2014-15.
Sir Robert Naylor
University College London Hospitals FT has only been offered £5m of funding for 2014-15, Sir Robert Naylor said
HSJ recently reported that the London trusts in receipt of Project Diamond funding had unanimously turned down an offer from NHS England to pay just a quarter of the amount they received last year.
The funding is traditionally paid to teaching hospitals in London to cover the cost of highly specialist work in the capital.
NHS England chief finance director Paul Baumann had offered the 16 trusts that usually receive the funding £124m over two years if they signed up to the voluntary tariff put forward by NHS England and Monitor in February.
A spokeswoman for University College London said: “The £16.5m reported year to date deficit reflects the proposed shortfall of £16.8m budgeted and received in prior years from NHS England and the Department of Health to reflect the underfunding in the tariff of highly specialist and complex patient treatment. This is often referred to as Project Diamond funding. At present, discussions with NHS England, the DH and Monitor are ongoing with regards to this matter.”
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A spokeswoman for NHS England said the “responsibility” for how UCLH manages its budget “is a matter for them although we have been increasing investment in their services far faster than overall NHS funding growth”.
Imperial College Healthcare Trust, based in London, has also reported a year to date deficit, and has partly attributed this to the lack of Project Diamond funding. The trust has reported a deficit of £4.7m.
Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation Trust, in the south of the capital, hopes to deliver a £3m surplus by the end of the year but a trust spokeswoman said this would “prove difficult following recent confirmation that our planned levels of Project Diamond income will be significantly reduced”.
Board papers and information provided to HSJ