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Significant financial improvements acknowledged

​The significant financial improvements which have seen Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) reduce its deficit by almost half have been acknowledged by NHS regulators.

The Trust has had a series of “enforcement undertakings” removed by NHS Improvement (NHSI) after cutting its deficit from £8.9m in 2015/16 to a forecast of £4.8m for the current financial year. The news comes shortly after the publication of the Care Quality Commission’s most recent inspection report, which saw the Trust lifted out of special measures after making significant improvements across its services.

The enforcement measures were placed on the Trust in early 2015 and was designed to help swiftly improve the financial situation. NSFT was required to draw up a detailed improvement plan and provide regular updates to NHSI, and also hosted a two week visit earlier this year where officials reviewed the Trust’s performance.

The news means that service users, patients and carers can have confidence that NSFT is taking the right action to address its deficit. This has included recruiting permanent staff to reduce spend on agency workers, negotiating additional funding with commissioners and selling buildings which are no longer used so that the money can be reinvested elsewhere.

Julie Cave, NSFT Director of Finance, said: “We are pleased that the Trust has now been lifted out of the measures which were imposed on us last year. It is great news for our service users and carers, as it shows we are doing everything we can to make the best use of the money available to us to provide the highest quality care.

“We have worked incredibly hard to stabilise our financial position, and have provided NHSI with a wealth of evidence to show the impact of the steps we have already taken and our plans to maintain this improved performance in the future.

“We know that there is still a lot of work to be done and will continue our unrelenting focus on managing our finances and finding different ways of working so that we can improve the position still further next year.”