Hospitals trust is still in control of deficit despite reporting an unexpected £4.3 million shortfall

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The trust that runs Hemel Hempstead Hospital still expects to hit its deficit target of £14 million, despite being an extra £4.3 million in the red than expected. Chief financial officer for the trust Don Richards revealed the latest figures at a trust board meeting last week.

But despite the extra debt, the trust, which also runs Watford and St Albans hospital, still expects to hit its £14 million deficit, which was agreed and set at the beginning of the financial year.

Mr Richards said: “The NHS requires us to continue to report our performance against the original plan, and, at this point in the financial year, we are currently £4.3 million more in deficit than our original plan said we would be. However, we are confident that our trajectory of actions will lead us to a final deficit figure of no greater than £14 million by the year end.”

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It is understood that fluctuations in figures are expected to balance out over the final two months of the financial year, which will allow the trust to hit its debt target.

Despite the fact that trusts are expected to deliver a surplus at the end of the year, most are reporting a deficit and Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group expects to be £40 million in the red by the end of March - thought to be the worst in the country.

Spokesman for the West Herts NHS Trust Marcel Berenblut said: “We are not proud to be delivering a deficit because we are meant to produce a surplus.

“The financial director is absolutely firm in saying that he expects to hit the predicted target.”

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