Case studies

Nursing an NHS Trust back to health

Delivering savings to help Dudley NHS Trust come out of financial breach

The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust serves a population of around 450,000 people and treats almost 100,000 patients every year in Accident & Emergency across 3 hospitals in the region.

In January 2015, the Trust breached its license with the regulator due to concerns over deterioration in its finances. It turned to Deloitte to help deliver the significant savings required to break even by April 2017.

As a joint client and Deloitte team, we worked with the Trust to help it develop project plans, and our advice helped the client introduce rigour to the delivery of savings. We helped identify options to improve productivity and efficiency, while still allowing the Trust to take into account the sensitivities and concerns of senior staff about the pressure on headcount.

We then assisted the Trust as it monitored performance, risks and savings, and enhanced the governance structure to hold executives accountable for delivery. These changes had the desired effect, moving the Trust from an initial forecast of a £1 million shortfall in the plan in May 2015 to achieving the in-year recovery plan by August 2015.

Since then we have conducted a series of innovation workshops for the Trust to encourage senior clinicians and operational staff to share ideas to contribute to the Trust’s plan for next year’s savings target. Not only have staff identified and generated new ideas to contribute to the 2016/17 savings target, they have also become more engaged in the overall transformation programme and need for change. To ensure the impact of our work is sustainable, our team has given training to Trust staff, helping them develop their project management skills and improve execution and delivery of projects.

We’re pleased to say the regulator took the Trust out of breach in February 2016; one of the few NHS Trusts to come out of breach in the country. Further, the Trust delivered its incredibly challenging savings target in 2015/16 - its highest-ever savings achievement. The Trust has thanked us for our support, noting that our ability to deliver sustainable change, without affecting patient quality or cutting staff is a significant achievement.

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