Redbridge hospital trust has the second largest debt in England, report shows

The hospital trust which treats Redbridge patients was saddled with the second largest deficit in the country this year, a new report shows.

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) went �49.9million into the red in March 2012, research by the Audit Commission confirmed.

Only South London Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs Queen Mary’s Hospital in Sidcup, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich and the Princess Royal University Hospital in Bromley, faced larger debts.

The south London group was put into administration this summer after ending up with a �65.1m deficit.

BHRUT runs both King George Hospital, Barley Lane, Goodmayes and Queen’s Hospital, Romford.

Audit Commission managing director of health, Andy McKeon, said: “While nationally the NHS appears to be managing well financially, and preparing itself for the changes and challenges ahead, a number of Primary Care Trusts and other trusts are facing severe financial problems.

“The Department of Health and other relevant national authorities need to focus their attention on the minority of organisations whose financial position is deteriorating, and on their geographical distribution and service standards.”

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BHRUT chief executive, Averil Dongworth, said there were a “number of factors” which have contributed to the deficit.

She added: “There has been particular financial pressure put on us by our private finance initiative payments for Queen’s Hospital.

“We are pleased that we are one of seven trusts identified by the Department of Health to receive additional support towards our PFI costs.

“To ensure we receive this financial support, we are working on our long-term financial model, detailing how we will achieve financial balance over the next three to five years.”

The hospital trust is hoping to reduce its deficit to �40m in 2012/13.

Meanwhile, NHS North East London and the City, which runs GPs’ surgeries in Redbridge, had a surplus in 2011/12, the Audit Commission said.