FINANCE: George Eliot Hospital Trust was £2.5m in the red at the end of August, £2.2m worse than planned.

September board papers show that £1.1m of the variance was down to contract agreements falling short of plan.

“The potential for additional support funding is being discussed with the Arden primary care trust cluster and [West Midlands] strategic health authority,” the papers said.

“The financial position demonstrates the basis for the board’s decision last year not to progress an independent foundation trust application, but to seek a strategic partner in order to secure clinical and financial sustainability.”

Income from high activity levels was offsetting about half of the cost pressures from medical agency and locum staff. 

About £700,000 of the deficit was due to shortfalls in local cost improvement programmes.

“The executive team and programme management officer are developing additional savings initiatives.”

The trust is due to meet the SHA to discuss its forecast position for the year.