Northern Devon Healthcare Trust ditches debt

NORTHERN Devon Healthcare Trust has declared itself free of a �7.9 million millstone of debt after balancing the books for the first time in years. We're very pleased to have paid off our historical deficit and balanced the books this year, because it cl

NORTHERN Devon Healthcare Trust has declared itself free of a �7.9 million millstone of debt after balancing the books for the first time in years."We're very pleased to have paid off our historical deficit and balanced the books this year, because it clears the decks for the future," said Andy Robinson, Director of Finance."It has been hard work, with staff across the trust playing their part to make sure we keep spending in check and do things differently. The atmosphere has really changed after the gloom of recent years."The trust had set a budget for 2008-2009 which, with the support of Devon Primary Care Trust, aimed at achieving a surplus of �7.9 million to pay off the historical debt.Mr Robinson said all this had been done even whilst pressing ahead with improvements such as the creation of a new stroke unit, the start of major refurbishment, shorter waiting times for patients and falling rates of infection."What we can't do now, though, is relax," he added."Everyone knows cash will be tight in the public sector because of the economic downturn. "We will need to continue looking hard at everything we do, to get the best value for taxpayers' money while making further improvements in care. "It will be about working smarter, about innovating and taking advantage of advances in healthcare. That's not always easy, but it's a challenge we've got to meet.


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