FINANCE: A report seen by the HSJ reveals the south London acute is losing up to £5m a year, largely down to excess non-elective admissions.

Work with consultants KPMG has been undertaken on turning round th service that sees an average non-elective admission make a loss of £1,300.

The trust has an annual turnover of £556m.

The project initiation document presented to a private meeting of directors in June proposed hiring a consultant paediatrician to work in A&E between 5pm and 9pm and a paediatric assessment unit be set up in A&E.

The plan envisaged: “Setting up of a 4-8 bedded unit in A&E for short stay patients, who are awaiting investigations or need short stay observation, however, do not need to be admitted.

“It is assumed that as a result of both the OOH and PAU initiatives nine admissions can be avoided. A fully operational, eight-bedded PAU would increase this, however, will take longer to implement and have potential additional costs involved.

“It is anticipated that as a result of the OOH cover, the PAU and a review of long stay patients 8 beds (2 bays) in the general paediatric ward could be closed. This would result in savings in nursing staff (8.6 WTE, midpoint band 5), and savings in variable costs.”

Among the “assumptions” listed in the document was: “Willingness of paediatric surgeons to accept reasonable remuneration for extra theatre sessions.”