FINANCE: East Sussex has maintained its year-to-date deficit of £6m since the previous month

Board papers said during December expenditure fell by £800,000 compared to the previous month and the trust now had a £14,000 run rate surplus – maintaining the year to date deficit of £6m.

Chief executive Darren Grayson told the board: “Our financial performance has… begun to turn a corner as we returned to run-rate balance for the first time since last spring and the impact of the measures we have taken begun to take affect.”

The interim director of finance stated that on the basis the trust would receive £6m support or made further cost savings and also delivered the CRES (Cash Releasing Efficiency Savings) savings of £7.3m it would be able to deliver the £1.7m surplus at the year end. However there was a high degree of risk in these assumptions.

The board papers noted that the current assessment by consultants Ernst & Young’s indicated that £1.3m of these further savings are still to be identified with a further £2.3m currently “red rated”.