Savings Plan Mitigated by Additional Funding - Consultation Outcome Report


At its extraordinary meeting today, the South Eastern HSC Trust Board has agreed to go ahead with the low or no impact proposals in the Trust's savings plan, which has been out to public consultation for the past six weeks.

Trust Board welcomed the additional £40m being made available to Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland, which has reduced the amount of savings needed, and allowed them to step away from the major or controversial proposals in the plan.

However, the meeting heard that while this additional funding will offset some of the current budgetary pressures, the underlying financial challenge has not gone away. The savings agreed today are mostly non-recurrent so the Trust will be faced with finding significant savings in the years to come, whilst demand for services increases as people live longer and chronic conditions increase.

Chief Executive, Hugh McCaughey said: "It is absolutely essential that we move forward with the transformation of our health and social care system, as outlined by Professor Bengoa. We must use the months ahead to discuss publicly how we better use the significant levels of funding already available for health and social care, and develop a model of healthcare which is sustainable and affordable."

The major impact or controversial proposals, which will NOT now go ahead, consisted of a £1m reduction in locum doctor spend and a £1.05m reduction in agency staff.

The proposals which will go ahead relate to non-pay, contract management and delaying of service development savings, and total £8.75m. They include:

• Slowing or deferring the use of monies for service development or new initiatives, such as slowing the transfer of services to the new ward block in the Ulster Hospital
• Replacing agency and locum staff with in-house staff
• Savings in administrative and management areas e.g. staff travel and non-pay
• Introduction of car parking charges at Ards Hospital site
• Non-implementation of an uplift on community care contracts

The Trust would like to thank everyone who contributed to the public consultation, and those who attended our public meetings.

To view the Consultation Outcome Report, please click here