FINANCE: Higher than planned levels of activity forced Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust into a deficit of nearly £1m in June.

Board papers for July show that the trust reported a £979,000 deficit in month three. It had hoped to break even.

The trust said this was due to “in month cost pressures”, including activity above the planned level and above the level for the previous year.

Cost improvement plans fell short by £833,000 at £4.5m, and efforts to meet its 18 week referral to treatment target were putting pressure on expenditure.

Also, the trust’s urgent care pathway was “not operating as intended, with consequences in escalation beds and associated costs reflected in the paybill”.

The papers added that the trust had agreed with the South of England strategic health authority cluster that their financial return for the month would show that year to date performance was on plan.

The trust has prepared a “remedial action plan” to improve its financial position. It is still forecasting a year-end surplus of £2m.