Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals face £8.7m shortfall in Kent treatment scheme

News Desk (19 October, 2016) Health

Trust requested £11.2m but received £2.5m for ‘vanguard’ project

Guy’s and St Thomas’ faces an £8.7m shortfall to fund a groundbreaking ‘vanguard’ programme that saw it deliver care locally to patients in Kent.

The hospital’s management has confirmed it received £2.5m of funding for the 2016/2017 financial year, but had requested £11.2m.

The News reported in August that (GSTT) Guy’s and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust’s vanguard programme with Dartford and Grvesham NHS Trust had become the template for similar set ups to commence between different hospitals across the country.

But it was recently revealed by the Health Service Journal that similar funding shortages from NHS England had affected similar hospital partnerships in England, to the total sum £216m.

The vanguard system, and the additional funding it received until recently from NHS England, allowed care specialists and consultants to treat patients further afield, saving them the trouble of travelling to central London.

A GSTT spokesperson previously said clinicians across vascular, cardiology and children’s services were being brought in locally.

“For example,” the Trust said, “Dartford and Gravesham is working with Evelina London Children’s Hospital – part of Guy’s and St Thomas’ – to bring specialist care closer to home for families.”

Despite the budget cut, GSTT said it will guarantee cardiovascular and children’s services still being provided through the vanguard programme for Kent outpatients.

A GSTT spokesperson told the News: “Like a number of Trusts, we received less money for our Vanguard with Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust than originally bid for. We are therefore reviewing our priorities but remain committed to delivering benefits for patients, initially focusing on cardiovascular and children’s services.” Defending the reductions in funding, an NHS Spokesperson said: “Vanguards’ value propositions have been assessed through a rigorous review process that included vanguards, clinicians, patient representatives and members of the arms-length bodies leading the NHS Five Year Forward View.

“As a result we are backing the strongest vanguards in 2016-17, in line with the value methodology.”

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