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RCN responds to Barts' financial turnaround

Published: 18 July 2013

England’s largest hospital trust has announced that it is placing itself in “financial turnaround” after struggling to meet monetary targets. Barts Health NHS Trust, which employs 15,000 staff across its east London sites, had planned to save £77m this year. However, after three months it is already £15m behind the target.

In a statement, the trust said “We wish to be clear that Barts Health is not in administration. Having not met our own financial targets for the first quarter of the financial year, we have, with immediate effect, placed ourselves in financial turnaround.

“Financial turnaround has not been imposed on us, and by taking this decision proactively and at the earliest possible opportunity, we believe we have acted responsibly to secure our long term financial viability, allowing us to continue to provide world-class health care to the people of east London and beyond.”

Reacting to the news, Royal College of Nursing London Regional Director Bernell Bussue said: "It is disappointing that this step has to be taken so soon after last year’s merger, which management had assured us would bring a sustainable future for the trust.

“The safe delivery of care must be the priority. A million people in east London depend on Barts Health for services which are now under threat. Proper engagement of the trade unions and professional bodies at the trust is key to finding a realistic and achievable financial plan for the future. The hole in the finances cannot be plugged by making further cuts to an already stretched workforce."

The RCN intends to support all members working for the trust and a staff side meeting is planned for as early as next week. More information will be sent to RCN members working at Barts following this meeting.