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Southern Trust admit £40m relief fund will have ‘no impact’ on savings plans

"Clearly we continue to face a very difficult financial environment, but remain fully committed to transforming and modernising our services"

The Southern Trust Board have said they are committed to the £6.4m savings plan they were tasked with earlier this year.

They admitted that the £40m relief fund announced by the Department of Health will have “no impact” on their savings plan.

Speaking at an extraordinary Board meeting today (Friday) Interim Chief Executive Francis Rice said: “In developing our savings proposals, the Trust’s priority has been to protect front line services and to reduce spending in support areas where possible, although recognising that all short term savings proposals impact on the work of the Trust.

“We welcomed the announcement of the additional £40m funding for health which has reduced the need to implement some controversial changes included in other Trusts’ savings plans which had an associated impact on our population.

“However, this allocation will have no impact on our requirement to deliver on our savings plan during 2017/18 and the Southern Trust Board has now approved all of the ‘low impact’ normal in-year financial management proposals, amounting to total savings of £6.4million will proceed as planned.”

She added: “I can confirm that the only major proposal which will go forward to the Health and Social Care Board for consideration, is that relating to changing the current system of issuing single use aids and small appliances.”

Trust Board members approved: a change to the current model for procurement of community equipment
considering the detailed responses to the public consultation and; to consult further in line with the Trust’s equality scheme prior to implementation of any change in this service.

Ms Rice concluded: “We would like to thank the many people, groups, staff and interested parties who engaged with us during the consultation period. We have listened carefully to what you told us and this has been reflected in the recommendations made to Trust Board today.

“Clearly we continue to face a very difficult financial environment, but remain fully committed to transforming and modernising our services, while living within the budget available to us.”

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