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Cash plea from NHS chiefs to avoid more A&E winter woes
HEALTH bosses will be appealing to "the world and his wife" in a desperate plea for extra cash to stave off another A and E crisis this winter.
An £8.6m bid to help ease the pressure this coming cold season has been rejected - prompting fears at the health trust about the pressure emergency services are set to come under again.
Bucks Healthcare NHS Trust wanted a slice of £500million available nationally but was turned down because it was deemed to be performing well so far this year.
The trust failed to meet its four hour A and E waiting time targets last winter before April, though it has since been a top performing trust in Thames Valley.
Chief Executive Anne Eden said: "We were really disappointed to learn that we didn't receive a penny. We're pretty sore about that, it's fair to say.
"There is going to be some pressure on the system around that.
"There's no doubt it's going to have an impact on our services but rest assured safety and quality has to come first and we're working with our colleagues to see what we can do."
Norovirus, a winter vomiting bug, led to a surge in patients at Stoke Mandeville Hospital last winter and prompted appeals to the public to stay away unless vital.
Ms Eden expressed her annoyance that other trusts near Bucks had got millions and labelled this "just not good enough".
She added although the trust is behind in its savings programme it is still likely to deliver four to five per cent reductions.
She added: "I think we're demonstrating that we are not just asking for handouts but delivering a sizeable cost improvement."
Les Broude, Non-Executive Director said; "The reality is if you look at our figures over winter last year we were working very very hard just to keep our heads above water.
"Because we have done well in the first quarter it seems like a nonsensical reason for us not to have money given to us."
Brenda Kersting, Non-Executive Director, said: "I think we also need to consider a joint letter from the board and the other partner organisations to be copied in to the world and his wife. I think we absolutely need to go on record collectively to say we need this money."
The board agreed to write to The Department for Health.
She said the trust were in "an unfair and untenable position".
Helen Keenan, Non-Executive Director, said: "I do think that this is such an important point that we don't suffer in silence. It's not a secret that the NHS is underfunded, it's not a surprise.
"It's really important that there's an understanding and appreciation of the position the trust finds itself in."
Keith Gilchrist, Non-Executive Director, said: "Our absolute priority is to continue to improve patients safety and quality but you (higher health authorities) can't talk to us with forked tongue and say you've got to do this but we're denying you the finance. That's absolutely ridiculous."
Finance officials will make representations to the NHS Trust Development Authority and NHS England.
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