Trust Launches Public Consultation on Savings Proposals


The Trust has been set a savings target of £10.85m, to be achieved in the second half of the current financial year. It’s part of an overall £70m savings plan across the HSC system, in order to meet the statutory requirement for financial break even in 2017/18.

In considering our proposals, we have aimed to ensure that we do not compromise patient or client safety, and attempt to minimise the impact on our services. Our proposals must release funding within the required time scale and we will try to avoid implementing measures which are at odds with the strategic direction for HSC services set out in Bengoa and Delivering Together.

The Trust has responded to this difficult task by identifying £8.75m of savings proposals, or 81% of the total £10.80m plan, which will have less or no impact on the delivery of services. The remaining £2.05m are deemed to have a major impact, or are likely to be controversial.

The major proposals consist of a £1m reduction in locum doctor spend across the Trust, to temporarily reduce locum costs, and a £1.05m reduction in agency staff with the aim of reducing agency costs by 25%. The agency reduction excludes qualified nursing posts.

The proposals considered to have less of an impact relate to non-pay, contract management and delaying of service development savings and include:

• Slowing or deferring the use of any monies for service development or new initiatives, including new inpatient ward block at Ulster Hospital (which has now opened but transfer of services has been phased to ensure best management and this may be slowed to save some monies towards the savings plan requirement)
• replacing a range of agency and locum staff or overtime with in-house staff
• savings in administrative and management areas, for eg.staff travel and non-pay
• introduction of car parking charges at Ards Hospital site
• natural delays in recruitment
• non-implementation of an uplift on community care contracts

Clearly, some of these proposals will impact the level of service we are able to provide to our patients and clients, and will also reduce the number of staff on the ground. It is important to remember that no decisions have yet been made.

These proposals are temporary, and aimed to achieve savings in- year. We have been asked to consult on them and over the next six weeks we will engage as widely as possible with those who use our services, and we would encourage people to let us know their views.

A Department of Health spokesperson said: “The indicative resource allocation for the Department of Health is £5,095.4m, which provides an additional £224.8m for Health, when compared against the allocated budget at the start of the 2016/17 financial year. This indicative allocation includes the additional one-off, allocation of £60.1m, in July from the Secretary of State. Despite this, the financial challenge for Health remains significant due to inflation, (widely recognised as 6% per annum), an increasing and ageing population and the cost of new treatments. HSC Trusts have been tasked by the Department with developing draft savings plans to deliver a total of £70m of savings in 2017/18 which must be achieved as part of the financial plan for this year. The HSCB will work with the Trusts during the consultation period to develop actions to mitigate as far as possible the proposed temporary service changes to maintain quality of provision. Maintaining patient safety remains the prime priority for the HSC.”


The consultation document in full, including initial screening outcome, is available by clicking here

Online Consultation Questionnaire - please click here to complete

Consultation Questionnaire (Word version) - please click here to complete

Frequently asked questions can be accessed by clicking here

Guidance on withdrawal or changes to services is available by clicking here

Planning how we spend our money - 2017/18 Financial Planning & Savings Plan (Easy Read Version) - click here

If you would like us to send you a copy of the consultation document, or require it in a different format, please email


Public Consultation Meetings

The Trust is planning to hold a series of public meetings to ensure that the public have the opportunity to contribute to the consultation process. Venues and dates are as follows:

Tuesday 19 September 2017


Londonderry Room, Ards Town Hall


 7.00 pm – 9.00 pm

Thursday 21 September 2017    

 Dundonald Ice Bowl 


2.00pm - 4.00pm


 Tuesday 26 September 2017


Lisburn Recreation Hall,
Lagan Valley Hospital


 6.00pm - 8.00pm

 Thursday 28 September 2017    

 The Great Hall, Downshire 
Estate, Downpatrick    


7.00pm - 9.00pm


The Trust will also facilitate other meetings with groups and individuals upon request.

For further information, or to register your attendance at a public meeting, please contact:

Tania Gibson,
Kelly House,
Ulster Hospital,
BT16 1RH

Telephone: (028) 9055 0434

Textphone (028) 9151 0137