• King’s College Hospital Foundation Trust has made offer to NHS Improvement of even worse position than 2017-18
  • Trust reported a deficit of £132m last year, against a plan of £38m
  • Chairman says it was “irritating” that nearby trust received sustainability funding despite missing financial target 

The trust with the worst financial performance in the country is looking to end 2018-19 with a deficit of £156m, HSJ has learned.

King’s College Hospital Foundation Trust in London ended 2017-18 with a deficit of £132m, against a plan of £38m and a meeting of its board today heard it was targeting a deficit target of £156m for this financial year.

Chair Ian Smith stressed that the final number was still being worked on and a control total had not yet been agreed with regulator NHS Improvement.

If agreed the total would be the worst deficit in the country for the second year in a row.

He added that the relationship with NHSI had improved and that the organisation was looking at a “break even turnaround plan” within the “medium term, three to four years”.

Over the past six months, the chief executive, chair, finance director and chief operating officer of the £1.1bn-turnover organisation have all resigned.

Former NHSI chief executive Jim Mackey also publicly criticised the organisation for failing to hit successive financial forecasts.

A savings target for 2018-19 has also yet to be agreed for the Shelford Group trust.

Interim chief executive Peter Herring said NHSI was “in a more supportive mode than they have been in the past but if we are not showing progress that support will rapidly diminish”.

He added that the trust would have to get more “grip and control” and that internal business cases were often not high enough quality or well enough monitored when they were approved.

“There is a question mark over whether many of the investments have actually produced results” he said.

Mr Smith, who was appointed in December, said the trust was also “taking very seriously” the national Getting It Right First Time programmes to reform its trauma and orthopaedics, ophthalmology and neurology services.

Mr Smith said it was “irritating” that Barts Health Trust had been allowed significant “sustainability and transformation funding” for 2017-18 despite missing a financial target, in response to a question. He noted that University College London Hospitals Foundation Trust had also received a large sum in STF funding.

The two trusts received £36m and £50m respectively.

Updated at 11.26am 7 June

HSJ’s initial story on this subject reported a comment from a foundation trust governor in a board meeting about the trust approaching NHSI with a deficit plan of £56m. KCH contacted HSJ to say the figure is in fact £156m.