SPENDING IN Sligo General Hospital, against its budget grant for 2012, worsened significantly in August.
The over run for 2012 is now €6.99 million or 11.07%, according to performance report statistics presented to the Minister for Health, Dr Reilly, earlier this month and released online last night (Thursday).
In comparison, the over-spend in Sligo was €5.88 million to July. That was 10.66% on an annual budget allocation in 2012 for Sligo General of €92 million.
On existing spending levels Sligo General Hospital will have spent its annual Budget some time in mid to late November. It seems certain it will have to raise a bank loan, €10 million or more, to see it through the end of the year.
Last night's 58 page monthly assessment shows absenteeism in Sligo General is now the region's worst compared with major hospitals in Donegal, Mayo, Roscommon, Galway and with St Johns Sligo.
The absenteeism issue in Sligo is even 'flagged' in the summary comment to the Minister. Overall, it's 6.29% but rose to 7.4% absenteeism for nursing and a massive 9.2% for ''general support staff'' category during August.Posts Lost
Staff numbers at national level in the HSE are back to 2005 levels -- having peak in 2007 -- says last night's report. The equivalent of one staff post was lost in Sligo General in August - dropping from 1,334 to 1,333! A total of 21 whole time posts have been lost in Sligo General since the year started, the report notes.
But it is the worsening budget situation which will cause most concern on the campus.
Sligo remains on target to significantly exceed its 2012 allocated budget of €92.3 million.
Spending is heading for anywhere up to and beyond €105 million. Every month, on average, the hospital is spending up to €800,000 more than is in its budget.
Crucially, the year is running out for Sligo General to rebalance its budget and -- even worse -- it is now heading into the season when there is a high demand on hospital services.
The Minister for Health, Dr Reilly, has repeatedly indicated there will be no supplementary budget allocation to the HSE to meet shortfalls. The HSE over run nationally in 2012 is expected close to half a billion.
In that spartan context, cutbacks and ward closures remain a firm possibility from mid November following last nights key budgetary performance indicators in Sligo General.
The key over runs in August were medical/dental, which showed overtime as a percentage of pay costs at 18%. Maintenance sector showed overtime as 10% of pay costs.....which may possibly be accounted for by some annual maintenance programmes carried out in this (quieter) period.
Ran at Zero
Nursing and paramedics overtime ran at zero percent as an element of those sectors salaries costs in August; spending was pared to the bone.
Against that, Sligo Today has confirmed wards were sometimes unkempt. Patients went un-bathed and families had to undertake some of these core hospital tasks.
Agency staff ran at just 1% of budget in Sligo General in August but was 5% in St Johns Hospital and medical/dental staffing input from agencies was a massive 18% in St Johns.
St Johns Hospital is also showing an overall budget over run for the first eight months of 2012, the performance report for August said last night
LINK (Click on August 2012 Supplementary Report, second item, right hand margin): http://www.hse.ie/eng/services/Publications/corporate/performancereports/2012pr.html