ST Luke’s hospital, Kilkenny is running E400,000 a month over budget and is E2.4 million in the red for the year. The figures were revealed by the clinical director of the hospital, Dr. Garry Courtney when he apologised for an internal memo which had inaccurately suggested that staff might not be paid from October.
He told KLCR 96fm radio station that this was not the case and that the memo had been taken out of context. He did say it would help to concentrate the minds of those in the hospital on the fact that savings had to be made. “We have a cost containment plan and we need to maximise all savings bring ourselves into a budget neutral position,” he said. The hospital’s priority is to deliver the level of service set out at the beginning of the year in the HSE South’s Regional Service Plan 2011. This activity includes 46,920 out-patient attendances at its clinics, 37, 325 presentations at its emergency department, 14,648 inpatients treated, 11,024 day cases and more than 2,144 births. In order to ensure the planned delivery of services throughout 2011, St. Luke’s must work to remain within budget so that resources are prioritised and that core activities, including emergency treatment and cancer services, are maintained, a statement from the HSE said. “Patient care is the hospital’s priority and the management team continue to work closely with staff to ensure that any impact on patient services are minimised; this is central to all discussions around cost containment within the hospital.
To date, savings have been achieved through reductions in overtime, staff travel and subsistence, better use of generic drugs, more efficient use of locum doctors and utilising procurement deals negotiated nationally and locally. “The focus at all times is to achieve savings by obtaining better value for money and by continuing to introduce efficiencies in how the hospital does its business like initiatives introduced under the public service agreement. As part of the ongoing identification of cost containment initiatives, there is an increased focus in 2011 on maximising income collection, the elimination of unrostered overtime, seasonal bed closures and a reduction in agency staffing; the full impact of these savings will be realised in the second half of 2011.
“Staff in St. Luke’s General Hospital Carlow/Kilkenny are aware of the ongoing requirement to maintain services within budget and are to be commended for their ongoing professionalism, commitment to patient care and the initiative shown every day in working to maintain access for patients to the full range of services provided at St. Luke’s,” Dr Courtney said