FINANCE: Colchester Hospital UFT had to “slow” payments and dip into its reserves after a delay in signing its contract with NHS North East Essex.

The trust’s June performance report said: “The delay in signing the contract with the PCT meant that the trust moved to invoicing on a non-contractual agreement (NCA) basis for the month.

As a result, the trust received very little income in month as NCA invoicing is in arrears, whereas under the contracted basis the PCTs would pay 1/12th.of the contract in month. NHS trade receivables increased as a consequence and cash decreased.”

The report said: “The trust managed its cash position through a combination of slowing down payments and using its cash reserves.”

It had “sufficient cash in bank at the year end [so] it did not need to drawdown against its working capital facility”, the report said.

The report confirmed that PCT payments have resumed following the signing of the contract.