FINANCE: The West Midlands strategic health authority will release £44m to the Birmingham and Solihull primary care trust cluster, on the understanding the cluster pays for all its transition costs.

The sum is worth the entire two per cent non recurrent topslice that the SHA held back from the cluster at the beginning of the year.

Cluster board papers for July say: “The cluster faces a range of significant risks to achievement of its control total surplus.

“In addition to the unidentified quality, innovation, productivity and prevention gap, a high proportion of the identified schemes were classified as high risk, and the latest forecast is that a significant proportion of schemes will not deliver the level of savings planned.

“However, one of the major risks reported previously has now been resolved, as the SHA have confirmed that they intend to release the two per cent non recurrent topslice in full this year.

“It had previously been indicated that they may withhold up to two thirds of this sum. The reserve is released on the understanding that the cluster will cover all transition costs during 2012-13, including any staff and premises exit costs should that be a requirement.”