There was a late surge in confidence at the end of February about reaching financial break-even or surplus, according to the latest Barometer survey of acute trust chief executives.

There was a late surge in confidence at the end of February about reaching financial break-even or surplus, according to the latest Barometer survey of acute trust chief executives. Although 11 per cent gave this a score of just 1 out of 10, almost half gave it 10, pushing the average up to 7.85.

Relationships between acute and primary care trusts remain a key issue. Since the last survey, confidence in the effect of the new model contract has fallen, with 86 per cent of respondents scoring it at 5 or below. Only 11 per cent expected to sign off all contracts by the end of February, although a further 43 per cent believed there would only be a small delay.

The HSJ Barometer survey is based on a panel of 70 acute trust chief executives and is carried out every two months. The next acute Barometer will be published on 17 May.