FINANCE: NHS Bexley has received permission to use the 2 per cent top-slice of budget levied on all London PCTs to pay the extra costs it will incur from South London Healthcare Trust.

An arbitration decision at NHS London earlier this year will see the PCT pay more than it had planned after disputes about the coding of procedures.

A risk register document submitted by the PCT to the south east London cluster said: “There is a risk that the trust will not breakeven caused by the absence of agreed service level agreement values for two of the three [biggest] providers; the lack of reserves within the budget, other than the statutory 0.5 per cent contingency; the pressures with regards to the continuing care, individual funding requests and high-cost drugs budgets.”

It also mentioned the “possibility that the London Borough of Bexley, including schools, will mitigate their own cost pressures by transferring costs to the trust, leading to a failure to deliver statutory financial duties and the inability to progress the government agenda on clinical commisisioning”.

The trust reported that it had reached an “agreement that a proportion of the 2 per cent non-recurrent funding can be used to mitigate the impact of the South London Healthcare Trust arbitration decision”.