FURTHER savings are required at the Worcestershire Royal after the trust that runs it recorded a deficit of £29 million in just six months - £5.5m higher than planned.

Financial pressures at the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust have been heightened after it was found to be "at risk of not delivering its agreed control total".

The Trust is deep into its £42.7m deficit target for the financial year and requires "significant mitigating actions" to be "implemented at pace" to recover its financial position.

And it may seek to borrow more from the government to stem its difficulties.

A report on the Trust’s financial performance cited the potential for £6m to £14m savings across its hospitals in areas such as theatre productivity, use of temporary staffing, rostering, and recruitment.

Certain staff facilities at Redditch’s Alexandra Hospital have also been withdrawn with an anonymous worker who contacted Worcester News sister paper The Advertiser saying theatre staff have been told that tea and coffee is no longer being provided.

Even polystyrene cups for cold-water dispensers have been withdrawn, with the worker claiming parched patients are waking up from surgery to be told they now have "no cups from which we could offer them anything to drink".

They said: "This is heart-breaking. We cannot even take a drink of water during our typical 10-hour day. How can this be right in any way?"

Restrictions have also been made on the specialist footwear the Trust provides to staff.

While the Trust insists cups are retained for patient use, it said some savings have been identified to improve efficiency and eliminate waste.

A spokesman for Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said: "As well as the detailed financial recovery and cost improvement plans in place we have across the Trust, we have also recently asked all our staff to look at ways in which they can play a part in stopping unnecessary spending, improving efficiency and eliminating waste in order to help us collectively meet this challenging target.

"As part of this, and in line with all other staff across our three hospital sites, theatres staff have been asked to supply their own mugs and drinks from now on.

"Cups will still be provided for patient use."

He also said the Trust was still providing specialist footwear required by theatre staff, although the choice had been restricted to ensure value for money.

The Trust is set to meet the national NHS Improvement team on November 14 to discuss its financial position.

It is awaiting confirmation for a £16.7m loan submitted in July, but the report admitted “a higher level of interim cash support would be required” from the government if it fails to reduce costs.