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Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust

Volume 497: debated on Tuesday 13 October 2009

10. What recent assessment he has made of the financial performance of the Mid Essex Hospital Trust; and if he will make a statement. (292237)

The trust’s finances were classified as “performance under review” in September by the director general of NHS finances. The East of England strategic health authority is working with the trust to ensure that it brings its finances into balance by the end of the year.

How would the Minister respond if he were to receive a complaint from an ancillary worker or nurse at the Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust that the trust’s financial performance over the past two years had been affected by the income garnered in staff car park fees? That income has risen from £90,000 to £250,000, and the effect is felt most especially by those members of staff who find it hardest to pay the charges.

The trust has to determine how to raise finance, but I do find such a large rise in car park charges a little excessive. The trust has had a number of good financial years, and it was supposed to go into surplus at the end of this financial year. The result of the Department’s intervention is that we know that the trust is working on a programme to bring itself back into surplus, but I do not expect that to be at the expense of staff.