Suffolk Primary Care Trust's chief executive has today issued a clear message that finances are under firm management, although the year ahead will be a tough challenge.
Speaking today in response to an adjournment debate, which will be held tonight at the House of Commons, Carole Taylor-Brown said the PCT is currently spending within its annual income and taking action to repay historic debts.
At the same time, the PCT is investing in developments that will bring modern health care to the people of Suffolk.
Mrs Taylor-Brown said there were still some tough challenges ahead, especially to tackle the historic debt.
Suffolk PCT has a robust plan to achieve financial balance and repay its debt. The previous PCTs in east and west Suffolk made significant progress with this in 2005/06. They balanced income and expenditure and made savings of £22.3 million, which enabled a reduction of the accumulated debt of £0.9million.
Mrs Taylor-Brown said: "We are not overspending and we are breaking even. However, there is still the matter of the historic debt which we will have to pay back.
"It is going to be difficult to tackle that debt and there will be some tough challenges ahead.
"Our minds are firmly fixed on our job, which is to manage services within the budget and make sure those services are the best possible for the people of Suffolk."
Current new developments the PCT has invested in include:
- Bluebird Lodge in Ipswich, which opened in 2005. This is a new purpose–built 28 bed intermediate care centre. The centre provides day services as well as in-patient care and a base for the team providing care to people at home.
- A new minor injuries unit in Ipswich, to complement the existing unit in Felixstowe.
Improvements for the future include:
- Year on year measurable improvements in public health, including reductions in childhood obesity and more people stopping smoking
- Better access to treatment. By the end of December next year, no-one will wait longer than 18 weeks from first seeing their GP to receiving hospital treatment, including tests
- A £1.4 million investment to turn Felixstowe General Hospital into a modern community hospital, to include a day and treatment centre, 16 inpatient beds, musculoskeletal services, and a host of other services and clinics. Work is expected to start in November.
- A new multi-agency Healthy Living Centre built in Brandon. Working alongside social care, community education and other services, the PCT will provide a full range of services including minor surgery, child healthcare, health visitors, nursing, therapies, mental healthcare, podiatry, homeopathy and community paramedics.
- A £1m investment in GP practices in Woodbridge, Morton Hall, near Bury St Edmunds, and Ravenswood in Ipswich. Mount Farm Surgery in Morton Hall was given £600,000 in capital and additional money for running costs, enabling the surgery to take on 3000 extra patients and offer a range of extended services.
For more information about Suffolk Primary Care Trust visit www.suffolkpct.nhs.uk
Issued on behalf of Suffolk Primary Care Trust by Isabel Cockayne at Geronimo Communications on 01284 768935.
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