Farron gets Ministerial confirmation on extra hospital cash
- and challenges trusts to use it wisely
Local MP, Tim Farron has received confirmation from the Minister for Health Services Rosie Winterton that the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Trust begun the financial year debt free, after the £6,357,000 fine for being in deficit was wiped out. However, the Minister has yet to confirm whether the Cumbria Primary Care Trust will be in a similar situation as well. Mr Farron is now pursuing the Minister to give details of the additional funds available to the Primary Care Trust.
The news comes after the decision was made recently not to penalise those trusts in deficit with further financial sanctions.
After hearing the news, Tim Farron said:
"It is good news that the Hospital Trust will begin the year debt free rather than with a massive fine hanging over it. The previous system whereby trusts in deficit were given further financial penalties just resulted in mounting debts, giving trusts little prospect of getting themselves out of financial trouble.
"I was however disappointed that the Minister did not give any indication of the budget for Cumbria Primary Care Trust. I will be seeking further clarification from the Department of Health on this issue.
"The local health trusts expect to save less than a million pounds if they pursue option three of Acute Services Review - which means the closure of the heart and stroke units at Westmorland General Hospital. This additional funding gives the trusts the freedom to keep those vital units open, and I would challenge them again to do so."