• Barts Health Trust plans for near breakeven position in 2018-19
  • Its position has been boosted by more than £60m “profit” from land sales.

Barts Health Trust is planning to deliver a deficit of just £1.9m this year, despite posting a deficit of more than £100m in 2017-18.

After the first quarter of 2018-19, it was £39m in deficit, which was £6m worse than planned.

But the position was boosted in July when the trust booked a £62.3m “profit” by selling land and buildings on the site of the old Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel.

The trust also expects to receive £54.8m in “provider sustainability funding” by the end of the year. It did not receive any PSF the first quarter. It needs to find £55.5m in savings to meet its budget targets.

Barts has ended the last four years with large budget deficits, reaching a nadir at the end of 2015-16 with a £137m deficit that put the trust in financial special measures. Last year the trust recorded a deficit of £108.8m, after receiving sustainability funding of £36m.

Its financial strategy shows it breaking even with sustainability funding in 2019-20 and getting its underlying financial position to zero the year after “subject to agreement on the treatment of excess [public finance initiative] costs”.

The trust board recognises its plan is “highly demanding”, saying it is “subject to a high degree of risk, and dependent upon the full delivery of cost reduction targets, realisation of recurrent savings, and the adherence to agreed budgets”.

A trust spokeswoman said: “We have made strides in a relatively short amount of time as recognised by improvements which mean no service across the trust is any longer rated ‘inadequate’ overall by the Care Quality Commission.”

“We acknowledge that there is more to do and continue to work with our partners and regulators in our efforts to consistently provide safe care and effective use of resources,” she added.