FINANCE: At the end of October the commissioner was forecasting its planned £1.4m surplus for 2011-12, and showing a £933,000 surplus for the year to date.

The care trust plus’ surplus seven months into the financial year was above its planned underspend of £798,000 at that point, according to the latest finance report of the NHS Lancashire primary care trust cluster.

It added that Blackburn with Darwen had already “actioned” 97 per cent of its full-year savings target of £6.3m, and expected to make 81 per cent of the savings recurrently.