Mental Health Trust Cuts Services

An NHS mental health trust in Leicestershire is cutting back services as it struggles to meet a government debt-cutting target. Leicestershire Partnership Trust, which is facing a £7.3m overspend, is closing several wards and three day hospitals temporarily to cut costs. Other cuts include using CT scans rather than more expensive MRI scans.

The trust said it has already made £4m in cuts, but needs these new reductions to balance the books by March 2007. Earlier cuts included reductions in management costs, reducing use of bank and agency staff and control of staff recruitment.

A spokesperson for the trust said: “We are testing out how practical these suggested extra measures might be in terms of their impact on service delivery, finance, human resources, partner organisations and risk.

“If any of them are not feasible then we will have to consider other suggestions because we have an absolute duty to break even financially by the end of March 2007.”

The trust said the possibility of staff redundancies cannot be ruled out. The changes are being discussed with staff, patients and carers who might be affected.