Matthew Kershaw: How can trusts meet the financial challenges ahead?

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  • Posted:Wednesday 11 December 2013

Matthew Kershaw, former Trust Special Administrator, South London Healthcare NHS Trust, shared how the challenge of making £350 million of savings was tackled in South London at our recent press breakfast event.

He said that to create a clinically and financially sustainable solution in South London, the trust needed to engage with all organisations, commissioners and providers across the local health economy. Matthew also stressed the importance of bringing together the financial and clinical case to achieve change.


Andy Morris

Interim FD,
Comment date
01 January 2014
There were no particular surprises to emerge from the three presentations. However, what surprises me is that there appears to be little recognition of other factors that have played a part in causing financial distress in the NHS. The funding regime itself can create 'winners' and 'losers', for example the MFF. In addition, the lack of transparency of the impact of cross subsidisation, for example, through education funding, particularly in teaching hospitals, does not help. My point is that it is not enough to comment on solutions from a base that accepts that the funding regime is equitable. Evidence shows that it is not. An inequitable funding regime coupled with the significant downward pressures not to overspend often leads to perverse behaviours and decisions. These in turn, may, precipitate some of the financial problems that we see today as senior leaders do the wrong things. Asking people that have worked to repair the damage in these 'financially challenged trusts', would broaden the debate and enable a better understanding of the reality on the ground.

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