Shrewsbury and Telford hospitals 'struggling to pay sandwich bill'

A sandwich Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption The trust chief executive has apologised for any inconvenience

A hospital trust in financial crisis says it is struggling to pay its bill for patients' sandwiches.

Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust said it has asked some external suppliers to accept later payments into the next financial year.

But its sandwich supplier has refused and the trust is looking for a new one.

Alternatives are being offered. The trust said it was a "temporary issue", adding that "at no time have any patients not had access to meals".

More updates on this and others in Shropshire

NHS trusts in the West Midlands have a deficit of almost £200m between them - with Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust topping £8.4m, BBC Sunday Politics reported in November.

Simon Wright, trust chief executive, said steps have been taken to bring down spending.

He said: "However, further action is needed and we have had to make some difficult decisions about how these can be achieved whilst ensuring patient care is unaffected.

Image caption The trust has hospitals in Shrewsbury and Telford

"The trust has asked some external suppliers to temporarily alter the timescale for payments until the next financial year in recognition of the additional pressures we are facing.

"Unfortunately our current sandwich supplier has not accepted these terms. We are now exploring new suppliers who can better manage slightly longer payment terms."

He has apologised for any inconvenience it may cause.

Speaking on social media, Martin James said: "Can't really blame the sandwich supplier for not agreeing to delay payment, they have to pay their suppliers, staff and overheads for running business."

Another from Lynda Parton said: "This makes me so sad, that our Shropshire hospitals can't afford to pay for sandwiches until start of next financial year."

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