Isle of Wight NHS Trust says trying to deliver the £15.7 million deficit required to stay out of financial special measures and improve its CQC rating is “a challenge”.

At a meeting held this afternoon (Wednesday) board members heard that the Trust’s cash position remains a key risk.

Its Interim Turnaround Chief Officer said the current deficit is above plan because of agency staff and Quality Improvement Plan costs.

Speaking exclusively to Isle of Wight Radio about the deficit Darren Cattell said:

“It’s a challenge. To recover our financial position is going to be tough over the winter but our overriding priority is to treat patients as well as a we can and save money at the same time.”

Darren added:

“I think agency is our big one really. We don’t have enough permanent staff based on the island to provide care to the patients, so by transferring our use of agency staff into more permanent member of staff we not only improve the quality of the care that we provide but we also save money as well because we don’t pay agency premiums.”

According to Darren, it’s transferring agency staff into permanent staff and contacting suppliers to make sure its getting the best deal to cut back on costs.

Due to the Trust’s financial performance its Use of Resources Rating is still a score of 4 (with 1 being the best and 4 the worst).