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Whistleblower uncovers 'black hole' in hospital accounts

By Lynsey Bradford, Town Reporter Wednesday 9th April 2014
Barnsley Hospital

A WHISTLEBLOWER has uncovered a £2.3m 'black hole' in the accounts at Barnsley Hospital.

Bosses insist jobs are safe and there is no risk to patient care but they admit they have no idea what has caused the gap which only came to light last week.

Until then, everything in the accounts of the hospital - which last year had an operating income of almost £170 million - was apparently in order, the Chronicle understands.


Managers have now commissioned two firms of auditors to comb through accounts to discover what went wrong - and how.

The size of the black hole could rise even further when the latest accounts are compiled in the next month, although it is not thought to be down to theft by any individual or group and no-one has been suspended.

Chief executive Diane Wake - who only took over last summer - said the the news comes at the worst possible time, with the hospital - like many others - already under pressure to make savings of up to £6 million.

She said: "We don't know or understand what's got us into this position, a lot of the finer detail is unclear.

"We are committed to sustaining patient safety and recovering our position. The staff are genuinely worried, but we are committed to protecting staff and front-line clinical care."

Auditors Pricewaterhouse Coopers and KPMG have been appointed to look at accounts dating back to 2012/13.

CommentsClick here to add a comment...
Posted by mry I Wed 9th Apr 2014 at 10:09pm

what is operating income ?

amateur report

Posted by Fed up I Thu 10th Apr 2014 at 12:02am

It's income that the Trust receives from Commisioners etc to pay for the activity of the hospital or other providers.

Posted by Muddled I Sat 12th Apr 2014 at 8:28am

Eek! That's quite the 'black hole'. When I lose shrapnel down the back of the sofa, it never amounts to more than a couple of quid- to lose £2.3m is quite serious. Sure, it's just shy of 1.5% of their operating income, but it's still a hefty amount. Let's hope it's just an error that can be rectified and not an example of some underhand syphoning.

I wonder why it wasn't picked up first time at PriceWaterhouseCoopers?