‘Like tickets for a Harry Styles concert’: Scarborough Hospital missed out on decarbonisation funding ‘by a few minutes’
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The York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s board was told that the failed funding application was for the Government’s public sector decarbonisation scheme.
Speaking at the board meeting on Wednesday, September 27, finance director Andrew Bertram said: “The only reason we were unsuccessful last time was because our bid went in at 2.10pm though it opened at 2pm, and 2.09pm turned out to be where the cut-off was and the money had run out.”
He added: “It’s like getting tickets for a Harry Styles concert, so when the portal opens we want to have the team ready and it is a case of having three or four laptops open and you try to get on the portal, which is massively oversubscribed.”
The funding, which would have been exclusively for Scarborough Hospital, would have addressed “sustainable improvements, heat pumps, and insulation” as well as “de-steaming the site”.
The Government’s public sector decarbonisation scheme is a multi-stage project that had up to £230m available in the most recent phase and aims to have distributed more than £1.4bn by 2026.
The interim chair of the board, Mark Chamberlain, said: “Just to note, there’s a number of things that we are doing in Scarborough, including the new circa £47m [emergency care centre]”.
The board meeting approved work to submit a new application for a future round of bids and the Trust’s chief executive, Simon Morritt, said he was happy to give the sustainability team “carte blanche freedom to get ahead in the bidding process”.
The meeting also discussed broader financial problems facing the Trust, including an update on the organisation’s income and expenditure deficit which has increased from £10m to £11.8m.
Finance director Andrew Bertram said there had been a “significant deterioration” against the finance plan and due to the Trust expecting continued cash problems, it had applied to NHS England for “emergency cash”.