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St Georges Tooting £10m In Red

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

GMB Concerns Over Patient Safety Arising From £10million Emergency Cutbacks At St George’s Hospital In Tooting

Tory-Lib Dem Government failure to fund the NHS properly shows why it is vital the NHS remains at the top of the agenda as we approach the General Election says GMB.

GMB, the union for healthcare staff, is expressing concern over patient safety at St George’s Hospital in Tooting, after its Chief Executive announced immediate emergency cutbacks.

Miles Scott the Chief Executive has announced that spending on staff cover and supplies will now be “strictly limited,” leading to fears that the hospital could be under-staffed and under-equipped over the coming year. See notes to editors for copy of his statement to staff.

Kieron Merrett, GMB Regional Organiser, said “St George’s, which was recently granted NHS Foundation Trust status, has found itself more than £10m in deficit for the current financial year.

This is a very worrying development for both patients and staff at St George’s.

The Trust was already due to make £43m of cuts in the next financial year in order to meet its Cost Improvement Plan. This £43m cuts package was already going to be a huge blow for South London’s NHS service.

Patients and staff will now be concerned about whether the hospital will be able to guarantee patient safety and maintain basic services in the next financial year.

This highlights the appalling impact that the Tory-Lib Dem Government failure to fund the NHS properly is having across the country. It shows why it is vital the NHS remains at the top of the agenda as we approach the General Election in May."


Contact: Kieron Merrett, GMB Organiser on 07866 441 656 or 020 8397 8881 or GMB press office: 07921 289880 or 07974 251 823.

Notes to editors

Copy of message to all staff:

Important message from Miles on our financial position

Dear colleague,

You should already be aware that the trust’s financial position has deteriorated sharply in the last three months. Our services are always busy both in our hospitals and in the community. Over the winter we have experienced extreme operational pressures resulting in increased costs and also reduced income from planned activity. This has been made worse by national funding changes, for example in education and specialised services.

Our plan for the year was to achieve a £5m surplus. Due to the difficult operating environment during the year we revised this downward to breakeven in January 2015. Unfortunately, our results for January and February have been significantly worse than we had expected. This in turn has considerably affected our year-end forecast. We cannot now reach breakeven and expect to incur a deficit of more than £10m.

This is a very serious situation. The capital expenditure that would have been funded by a surplus will be reduced. The money we will borrow to make good the deficit will have to be paid back. We need everyone’s commitment to turning around our finances. This means controlling our expenditure and delivering planned activity (the source of our income).

We have a £43m Cost Improvement Target (CIP) for the next financial year, starting in just a week’s time. Our plans to reach this sum still have a shortfall and what is planned will not all take effect straightaway on 1 April. This means that very rigorous controls on expenditure must be implemented immediately. Bookings for temporary staff and requisitions for equipment and supplies will be strictly limited. Clinical departments will be expected to deliver weekly activity targets. Support from non-clinical services, including estates, IT and domestic services will be tightly controlled. Some service developments and capital expenditure will be delayed.

We must turn this around as soon as possible. Many of you will remember the last time that St George’s had a deficit in 2006. Back then it was allowed to get out of control. The impact of the deficit then was to hold St George’s back for nearly a decade while successful Foundation Trusts in London went from strength to strength. The board is determined not to repeat this history and I know that this is the last thing any of our staff want either.

I would like to invite you to attend a series of open meetings over the next three weeks. These meetings will give me an opportunity to explain the position and what it means for you and your colleagues. The meetings will also be an opportunity for you to contribute ideas on how we can address the challenge.

The meetings will be held as follows:-

Monday 30th March 13:00 – 14:00, Monckton Lecture Theatre, ground floor, Grosvenor wing (senior staff meeting)

Tuesday 31st March 14:00 – 15:00, Lecture Theatre G, ground floor, Jenner wing

Wednesday 1st April 14:30 – 15:30 - Courtyard Restaurant, lower ground floor, Queen Mary’s Hospital

Thursday 2nd April 9.30 – 10:30 - Monckton Lecture Theatre, ground floor, Grosvenor wing (all staff welcome)

Miles Scott

Chief Executive


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