FINANCE: NHS Enfield is forecasting a deficit of more than £20m for 2011-12 – but this depends on a £30m efficiency savings programme heavily reliant on tighter contracts with acute trusts.

The primary care trust’s 2011-12 financial plan, to be laid before the board at its March 31 meeting, shows a recurrent baseline deficit of £31m. This is against an income baseline of £471.6m with additional pressures such as inflation, debt repayments, and activity growth bringing the total gap to £54.2m.

The trust is forecasting savings under the quality, innovation, productivity, and prevention (QIPP) programme to total £32.5m, bringing the net forecast deficit to £21.7m.

But, the plan says: “The QIPP plan heavily relies on the ability to achieve agreed service level agreements which are within the affordability limits of the PCT.”

Of the QIPP savings, nearly half (£14.5m) is to be gained through “acute productivity”.

The report says: “The PCT enters 2011-12 against what must be the most difficult background since its inception. Not only is the financial landscape bleak both locally and nationally but the NHS is facing unprecedented commissioning and primary care management changes nationally.”

In 2010-11, NHS Enfield benefited from a £25m handout from the NHS London challenged trust board. At the end of February, it was forecasting a year-end deficit of £2.6m.