THE NHS trust that runs Stratford-upon-Avon Hospital, Warwick Hospital, and Ellen Badger Hospital in Shipston-on-Stour, will clear its £18.5 million debt this month, it has been announced.
On 15th March, the South Warwickshire Trust is reaching an exciting milestone as the last £854,000 payment towards the multi-million pound loan is paid off.
The huge loan was taken out in 2007 to secure the future of the hospitals after the trust accumulated a large financial debt.
But following changes to the board in 2006, including the appointment of Graham Murrell as Chairman and Shipston-born Glen Burley as Chief Executive, the trust will as of this month, have repaid the loan in full, completing the financial turnaround.
“This is an important milestone for the trust” said Mr Burley. “It really validates all of our recent achievements and allows us to have an even stronger platform for the future. The most important factor is that all of the future money that the trust makes can now be invested back into care – keeping our core focus on our patients.”
The trust was also able to open the Aylesford Unit at Warwick Hospital - which specialises in cancer services - in 2009, and in 2010 invest £3.6million in a new radiology department and launch the state-of-the-art Helen Clarke Suite which specialises in breast care.
In 2011, over £4 million was spent developing all main operating theatres at Warwick Hospital and Prime Minster David Cameron visited after it received the ‘UK’s Most Improved Hospital’ award.
Mr Burley said: “It has been important for us to continue to make improvements over the last few years, in addition to us repaying the loan as it is essential for us as a trust to ensure a sustainable future for our patients across Warwickshire.
“We are not perfect and we still have many improvements to make; however at the trust we have a culture which encourages our staff to make improvements so that we can all continue to be proud of our local health services.
“I would like to thank all of our staff for their ongoing support and dedication.”
The trust also oversees Leamington Rehabilitation Hospital, which last year secured a £6.2 million investment for development.
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