Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust ‘at full stretch’ to make savings

SUSSEX PARTNERSHIP NHS Foundation Trust has admitted being ‘at full stretch’ trying to deliver care whilst redesigning services to make £14.1million savings this financial year.

The savings are needed to plug the amount of money received from commissioners and the costs of providing services and paying bills.

More than 100,000 patients use partnership services each year – and the needs are increasing.

Chief Executive Lisa Rodrigues said: “This year we are challenged as never before. This is set to continue. We are no different from other NHS and social care funded services.

“Where we are developing services locally, we are spending money which we have saved by making planned surpluses in previous years.

“The changes we are making to improve productivity and quality and the savings we are releasing are not optional.

“If we spend a penny more than we have budgeted on staffing, goods or services, we have to cut back the same amount somewhere else.”

Frontline services will be protected, the partnership has pledged, by fighting for new business and improving community mental health services.

Dr Richard Ford, executive director of Strategic Development, said: “In these hugely challenging economic times it is often the case that those organisations that support some of society’s most vulnerable people will see their services in most demand.

“Some of our services have seen an increase of 44 per cent in the number of people seeking our help and we have to make £14.1 million savings by March 2012.

“Instead of burying our head in the sand we’ve been working hard to win new contracts, where we know we can add value and make a real difference to the lives of people using these services.

“Fundamentally this is about making sure the people who need our help can get it – without comprising quality.”

The Trust is in the middle of a five year plan to modernise its services.

These include a 100-bed reduction programme and improvements to community mental health services; and new medium secure beds in Hellingly opening in January 2012.