FINANCE: Commissioners have “instigated a formal performance management process” because of City Hospitals Sunderland Foundation Trust’s elective and emergency overperformance.

The trust’s October finance paper says: “Given the continuing high level of over performance, the PCTs have instigated a formal performance management process.”

The main commissioning PCTs are Sunderland, Gateshead, South Tyneside, Durham and Darlington. The move follows challenges to the FT’s reported over-contract activity in quarter one. Papers say first quarter activity has now been “largely agreed”, but “challenges are likely to remain for quarters 2 to 4”.

To date there has been elective overperformance over contract worth £3m, mainly in trauma and orthopaedics; and non-elective overperformance of £653,000.

The papers say: “The PCTs have challenged activity levels where they are significantly above plan and have requested the Trust to work back to planned levels, we are in discussions around activity levels and the need to deliver 18 weeks. There is still an issue of affordability around the over performance and ultimately we may not get paid for all the activity delivered.”

The FT reports that the challenges have led to its cash position being slightly worse than expected. Its overall position is a net surplus of £1.2m against a planned surplus of £748,000.