FOR the 'first time in a long time' the Isle of Wight NHS Trust has money left over at the end of a financial year.

At the Isle of Wight NHS Trust's annual general meeting on Thursday, September 23, director of finance, Darren Cattell, revealed what he called the 'very big positive'.

Mr Cattell said the trust was on a journey towards financial and clinical sustainability.

He said it had seen significant progress towards that in the last financial year, recording a 'very small' surplus of £14,000' and he acknowledged that it made a 'massive difference to the deficit' previously recorded.

Isle of Wight County Press: St Mary's Hospital in Newport, run by the Isle of Wight NHS Trust.

The trust had planned for an expected deficit, between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021, of £3.7 million.

In 2019/20, the Isle of Wight NHS Trust recorded a deficit of £17.7 million in its annual accounts.

To help combat some of the costs relating to Covid-19, offsetting new and additional procedures, protocols and equipment, the Isle of Wight NHS Trust received £16.4 million from funding sources.

Its chief executive, Maggie Oldham, said Covid-19 had had a significant impact on the NHS across the country, stretching services and people to near breaking point.

However, Ms Oldham, said her colleagues and staff could be proud of how they had responded, continuing to keep themselves, their patients and the community safe.

This week the NHS Trust also revealed that it had been rated 'Good' by the CQC.

Mr Cattell said: "We had a really significant improvement in our finances and at the time a real challenge, so well done and thank you all for your contributions in supporting that.

"We have received an amount from central government and the Department for Health to help treat all our patients this year, so we were able to carry on doing exactly what we needed to, which was really helpful."

Another factor that helped, dates back to April 2020.

The government cleared more than £90 million worth of debt from the Isle of Wight NHS Trust.

The former Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, announced the scrapping of more than £13 billion of historic debt, as part of wider reforms to combat the pressures NHS Trusts were facing, helping them become financially stable.

On the Island, that meant £90,925,000 of revenue and capital debts and loans were cleared.