The budget deficit at the trust which runs Shropshire’s two main hospitals has grown by more than £8 million.

The board of Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, was told at a meeting on Thursday that the deficit had risen from £20.7 million to £29 million in the last financial year.

And the board was told the NHS had set a target to reduce the deficit to £17.4 million in the current financial year.

It will see cuts of £18.9 million this year and £48 million cumulative cuts by 2022/23.

Martin Hall, from SaTH’s finance team, said increased activity and workforce difficulties had impacted the financial position.

He presented a report to the board which set out the current situation.

It said: “The combined effects of increased levels of activity, workforce difficulties and the need to respond appropriately to the requirements placed upon the trust by the CQC following inspection have understandably heavily influenced the shape of the trust‟s budget for the 2019/20 financial year.

“The trust began the 2018/19 financial year with a recurrent deficit amounting to £20.7 million, during the course of the year the scale of the recurrent deficit has risen to £29.0 million.

“In the 2018/19 financial year the trust identified waste reduction schemes amounting to £8.9 million.

“It is forecast that the actual level of savings will amount to £4.9 million against, a shortfall of £4 million.”

Describing the trust as a “challenged financial organisation”, the report said it had established a reserve to underwrite the cost of additional costs associated with the winter period amounting to £2.2 million, but the actual level of spending in the year amounted to £3.6 million.

It added: “In setting the budget for the 2019/20 year it has been assumed that these additional costs will continue on a recurrent basis.

“A credible and deliverable workforce plan is to be constructed to sit alongside each of the key developments, in particular those related to capacity to ensure deliverability.

“Without assurance that the workforce can be met, additional capacity cannot be opened and there will be a requirement for further work with the health system around how non elective demand is managed.”

It concluded: “In order to achieve a balanced position, it will be necessary for the trust to generate waste reduction savings of £18.9 million equivalent to a 4.7 per cent reduction in expenditure budget.

“The medium term plan continues to chart a path to greater sustainability for the trust through the reconfiguration of its clinical services.”