We Will Balance the Books Say Bosses; HEALTH FINANCE: Hospitals Trust Chief Dismisses Rumours of a Pounds 27m Deficit

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Byline: By Hannah Murdoch

HOSPITAL chiefs in Coventry say they are expecting to balance the books this year despite rumours of a multimillion pound deficit.

At a trust board meeting for University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire, finance bosses said the trust was expecting to break even at the end of the financial year.

Director of finance Andy Hardy said the trust was currently overspent by pounds 2.37million but this was under control and the rest could be saved before the end of March.

He said: "There is currently a deficit of about pounds 2.4 million but we are predicting a break-even position by March 31, 2007. There are some departments which remain a concern but we're confident we can work with them and make savings which will ensure a break-even position next year."

Trust chief executive David Roberts attempted to quash rumours that the University Hospital at Walsgrave was up to pounds 27million in debt. He explained that this figure was a loan from the NHS bank for the West Midlands, to help the hospital cover its moving costs to the new site.

Mr Roberts said the loan, when it was received, would not count as an end-of-year deficit because a full repayment plan was to be agreed and this would be outside the ordinary yearly budget. …