FINANCE: Barnsley PCT has reached early agreement with its main acute provider Barnsley Hospital Foundation Trust for 2011-12, despite financial pressures.

A paper to the foundation trust’s board reported the contract was signed on 8 April.

It said it was an “unusually early formal agreement [which] represents considerable and positive change in the pattern of contract negotiations between our two organisations”.

The FT reported it was “a difficult negotiating round as a result of cost pressures on all public sector services”, but said it had “emerged as favourably as possible”.