• St George’s University Hospitals FT to miss control total
  • £844m-turnover trust cites underdelivery of efficiency programme
  • Says revised total is “deliverable”

A major teaching hospital trust has predicted it will fall short of its financial target by £9m.

In its latest board papers, St George’s University Hospitals Foundation Trust in south London revealed it will miss its £37.7m control total for 2020-21. It said a shortfall on its cost improvement programme meant it was now forecasting a £46.7m deficit.

After sustainability funding is accounted for, it means the deficit has slipped from £3m to £12m.

The report from its board meeting last month said: “The revised year-end had been built on a robust reforecasting exercise and, for this reason, the executive team [was] confident that the new plan was deliverable.

“The executive team also recognised that a significant amount of work was needed to change the culture of the organisation in relation to budget ownership and accountability for delivering local financial plans.”

The trust has said the main contributing factors to its financial situation were gaps in its savings programmes “particularly within the clinical divisions”, and the “broadly unchanged” underlying run rate.

The trust, which has an annual turnover of £844m, said in a statement: “The increase is mainly due to shortfalls in our cost improvement plans during 2019-20, as well as higher clinical costs (linked to operational pressures) than anticipated at the start of the year.

“We remain committed to returning to financial balance, whilst also ensuring we continue to provide safe, effective services for patients, and the communities we serve.”