NHS Trust not able to pay suppliers on time due to cashflow problems

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The organisation which runs Pinderfields, Pontefract and Dewsbury hospitals is struggling to pay its suppliers on time, it’s been revealed.

The Mid Yorkshire NHS Hospitals Trust is failing to make payments to a number of health bodies and private firms within an agreed timeframe, the trust’s director of finance said.

Jane Hazelgrave suggested that cashflow problems as well as a glitch with a new IT system was to blame.

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Speaking at a trust board meeting on Thursday, she said: “After the system was upgraded in August at first things were working well.

“Then after two weeks some things went wrong and there’s been some issues. We have struggled to get payments made.”

The organisation tries to comply with the Better Payment Practice Code, which specifies government guidelines on prompt transfers of cash.

This says that businesses and public sector groups should pay 95 per cent of its creditors within 30 days, or longer if agreed.

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On at least one occasion, the trust has had to negotiate a period longer than 30 days.

Mrs Hazelgrave admitted the trust was “nowhere near” the 95 per cent target but it said its performance had “improved”.

Asked by chief executive Martin Barkley whether or not cashflow issues had contributed to the problem, she said: “The position is better than last year, but it’s not like we’re sat here saying, “We’ve got loads of money”.