Suffolk hospital managers have issued statements on rising energy bills as the British Medical Journal warns some UK trusts will have to find as much as £2million extra a month this winter.

An investigation by the BMJ has predicted costs could be two to three times higher than last year, with the NHS confederation - the body that represents NHS organisations - arguing that unless the government protects trusts from “eye-watering wholesale market increases” in energy, trusts will have no choice but to cut back on patient services.

Adrian Marr is the director of finance and performance at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT), which operates both Ipswich and Colchester Hospitals.

He said: “All NHS trusts, including ESNEFT, have received some additional national funding to cover cost inflation pressures such as utilities.

"Providing safe, high-quality and compassionate care remains our top priority.”

Like many Trusts across England, the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is supplied with energy by Crown Commercial Services, an executive agency and trading fund of the Cabinet Office of the UK Government.

Their contract means the trust appears to be in a more stable position than others.

A spokesman for the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust said: “The trust continues to monitor the price of energy closely.

"Our current contractual position means we do not anticipate experiencing a sudden rise in the price of energy, however, like many trusts, we are experiencing year-on-year rises.

“The trust is currently undertaking works to improve the quality of the energy system across its estate, which will provide greater control and reduce energy consumption.”

Speaking on national concerns, Rory Deighton, senior acute lead at the NHS Confederation, told The BMJ: “The new prime minister must provide a top-up in this autumn’s budget or any emergency budget they hold to make up the shortfall.

"The NHS needs at least £3.4bn to make up for inflation during this year alone, and that is before we face a winter of even higher wholesale energy prices.

“A failure to properly compensate the NHS for inflation will only heighten pressure on our health service as we move towards a winter that we know will be particularly challenging this year.”