FINANCE: The primary care trust was continuing to forecast a year-end surplus in December but acknowledges this not yet “secure”.

In its latest finance report, the PCT reported an actual underspend against budget at month eight of £2.9m. It said this year-to-date position supports its current forecast that the planned year-end surplus of £4.6m will be achieved.

However, it states “the financial position remains challenging and there are a number of issues and risks which need to be addressed to secure this position”.

For example, it notes that its operating plan identified £9.9m of planned investments and £15.6m of planned savings. But it said the current forecast outturn position is a net £2.1m off plan “which is creating a financial pressure”.

The annual plan also contained a £4.3m savings target required to be found in-year. The report said, following the continued review of performance against budget, a further £891,000 has now been transferred to reserves – giving a total contribution of £1.9m to the savings target, which is required to create the contingency reserve.

The PCT said it expected the shortfall in achieving planned savings could be covered by non-recurrent savings but this would add pressure in 2011-12, with the savings requirement for next year likely to increase from £7m to £12m to “ensure a medium term balanced financial position”.