James Paget University Hospital Trust will look at a full review after ‘unprecedented’ demand

Dr Usen Ikidde was a doctor at James Paget University Hospital, Gorleston, Norfolk.

Dr Usen Ikidde was a doctor at James Paget University Hospital, Gorleston, Norfolk. - Credit: Nick Butcher

A hospital, which faced “unprecedented” levels of demand for accident and emergency services earlier this month, is undertaking a “full review” of the business continuity incident.

Speaking after the James Paget University Hospital’s latest board of directors meeting yesterday, chief executive Christine Allen said “there was a really good response” from health partners – including the Great Yarmouth and Waveney CCG and East Coast Community Healthcare – to the situation.

A report to the board said: “On Sunday, January 3, the trust saw unprecedented ambulance conveyance rates, which meant that on January 4 the trust declared an internal major incident – also known as a system-wide business continuity event. As a result three patients breached their 12-hour trolley rates. A full review of this incident is being investigated.”

Ms Allen said: “There was a very good response from all our healthcare partners, which enabled us to get back to a better position. Where we are now is fairly typical for this time of year.”

The meeting also heard that, according to the latest figures, 88pc of all providers nationally were in deficit financially. With the JPH Trust sending their latest quarterly submission to health watchdog Monitor yesterday, it included a “not confirmed (non compliant)” submission for finance, and a “not confirmed (non compliant)” submission in relation to the A&E four hour target – after missing targets for seeing patients within four hours.

Mark Flynn, director of finance, said: “We informed Monitor in May that we were working to a deficit of £5m for 2015/16.

“Factors for the forecasted deficit include increased demand, increased cost pressures and a shortfall in the savings plan. Since then, these factors combined with the outcome of annual contract negotiations, have resulted in a worsening position.

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“At the end of December 2015, the Trust was £5.4m in deficit – £1.8m behind plan,” Mr Flynn added.

“As a result, the forecast deficit position is £8m. The board remains very concerned about the current financial situation with this being the first year of a deficit and there is a shared determination to ensure we get back to a stronger financial footing as soon as possible.”