HOSPITAL bosses have warned “it is going to be difficult going forward” because of the Trust’s financial situation.

At the hospital’s AGM last Monday, director of finance, Lisa Thomas, said it has been an “exceptionally challenging year” in terms of finance so far.

She said the Trust had ended up reporting an £11.9million deficit this year, despite previously delivering surpluses each year.

And the meeting heard savings of £5.9million have been delivered, short of the £8million target the Trust wanted to achieve.

Miss Thomas said: “Overall, it has been a really difficult year and it is going to be difficult going forward. However to reassure you we do spend our money on the right thing.”

The meeting heard 91 per cent of spending went on pay and delivery of care at the hospital. About £77 million goes to pay for doctors and nurses. The Trust spent £21.8million on clinical supplies and £19.8million on drugs

Over the past year more than £10.6 million has been invested in the Trust. The meeting heard £2.2 million had been spent on medical equipment, £2.2million on ward upgrades and improvements, £1.9million on cyber security resilience, £1million on digital systems and technology and £1.2million on electronic patient records.

Miss Thomas added: “We need to continue doing so to make sure our equipment, our buildings are fit-for-purpose in delivering patient care at its best.”

The Trust will be working with charitable partners around maintaining and improving its estate and equipment, including an additional MRI scanner, replacement of the pharmacy robot and its master plan for the major redevelopment of the site.

Miss Thomas said: “We are working on our master plan for the redevelopment of the site. It is a big site and as you will know they [the buildings] are aged, and to make sure we are delivering this high quality care for every patient it needs to be in modern buildings. Therefore we are working now on how we can use our site in the most efficient way.

“It is going to be a difficult 2018/19, but what is really good is we are working together with all our partners in the system to make sure we are all working in the same direction, which is to make sure Salisbury is sustainable financially.”

The meeting also heard £971,000 from “central sources” went to cover additional costs of the Novichok incidents.