THE trust which runs Redditch's Alexandra Hospital is running a deficit of more than £70million, according to a new report.

The report of the full trust board meeting of the Worcestershire Acute NHS Trust, held on March 14, shows that the board reviewed and committed to a revised in-year deficit for 2018/19 of £72.5m.

The report also states that this is the sixth consecutive year in which the trust has not reached its in-year break even duty.

The trust, which runs hospital servies across the county including the Royal in Worcester, Kidderminster General and the Alexandra in Redditch, has been in a cumulative deficit for over 10 years and, according to the report ,will likely result in the requirement for a further referral by the external auditor to the Secretary of State.

It has also been reported that the trust will implement a series of “Enforcement Undertakings” ordered by NHS Improvement.

These undertakings are a series of actions the trust must take to to recover its position.

The trust said in its financial report that there is a requirement for £74.8m cash to support this deficit position.

In addition, during 2019/20 there is a requirement for the trust to repay £105million principal of existing revenue loans.

The trust has written to NHSI to request that these principal repayments be deferred, saying that without ongoing access to cash support they would not be able to fully meet liabilities.

Matthew Hopkins, chief executive of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust explained: “Given the widely reported operational and financial challenges we face, NHS Improvement have asked us for, and been given, assurances about the actions we are taking to deliver further improvements over the coming year.

“Our financial challenge in the current year is caused by a number of factors, including increasing demand for our services and the growing cost of providing those services, as well as our need to invest a significant proportion of our budget on bank and agency staff to ensure that all our patient services run safely and effectively.

“We continue to run active recruitment programmes and those efforts are helping us to recruit more permanent staff, to ensure our patients receive the best experience of care from the best people."