Health chiefs running hospitals in central Lancashire are predicting a deficit of £2.4m, due to overspend by the end of the financial year.
The figures – revealed in board papers for Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Trust – comes after bosses revealed they have called in the health watchdog Monitor, because they say they are finding Government cuts impossible to achieve.
There has been no real increase in the NHS budget in recent years, but the cost of providing health services has continued to rise.Paul Havey
The trust – which runs The Royal Preston Hospital and Chorley and South Ribble Hospital – recently contacted Monitor to request financial support as savings are becoming “extremely difficult to sustain”.
Paul Havey, finance director of the trust, said: “There has been no real increase in the NHS budget in recent years, but the cost of providing health services has continued to rise.
“This means NHS organisations have had to make significant financial savings to continue to provide high standards of care, maintain services and facilities, and invest in developing new drugs and treatment.
“In recent years, we have achieved enough financial efficiencies, along with using money we had previously saved, to be able to continue to provide high standards of care and services, and invest in future improvements.
“However we have no savings left, and it is simply not sustainable to continue to deliver this substantial level of financial efficiency without affecting care.
“We believe it is realistic, but challenging, to achieve savings of around two per cent in the next couple of years, rising to three per cent in later years as major service transformation work begins to have an effect.
“This is around the level of savings the NHS England Five Year Forward View predicts hospitals will be able to achieve.
“However, to remain financially viable, we are actually required to continue to deliver annual savings of significantly more than four per cent.”