FINANCE: NHS Berkshire West was on course to meet its surplus target for 2010-11 as the financial year drew to a close, but directors have been warned that 2011-12 will be more challenging.

A finance and performance report for February, laid before the board’s March 2011 meeting, showed that the primary care trust was forecasting a surplus of around £1.6m, which was in line with plan.

But, the PCT’s operating plan for 2011-12 said: “In previous years underachievement on savings programmes has been ‘absorbed’  by the generous levels of funding increases which have been received.”

It reads: “We do not have this option in 2011-12. If these reductions are not achieved, the PCT will be in financial difficulties and further savings will be required and/or investments will not be able to go ahead.”

The organisation’s budget plan for the new financial year saidt the surpluses had been despite “significant overperformance in secondary care activity”.

The PCT received a funding increase of 2.2 per cent for 2011-12, and has set out plans for a £9.9m quality, innovation, productivity and prevention (QIPP) plan.