FINANCE: A primary care trust has seen the contract value of services with its local acute rise by £10m for the second half of the financial year after arbitration.

NHS Greenwich, as well as NHS Bexley and NHS Bromley went to NHS London to arbitrate after “a significant gap between South London Healthcare Trust income expectations and PCT expenditure projections”, its latest finance report said.

It added: “SLHT’s view was that activity levels were increasing, the three PCTs’ view was that activity was being inflated and upcoded and was inconsistent between sites.”

The finance paper said: “The arbitration decision is to extend the fixed block contract for the second half of the year, with the exception of quality payments, where SLHT has to demonstrate delivery to receive payment. The arbitration decision was a balanced decision by NHS London, essentially weighing the likely impact of the hospitals acknowledged continued weaknesses in activity recording and coding quality against slippage in PCT ambitious demand management activity reductions.”

NHS Greenwich said all but £3.6m of the £10m extra cost can be met by re-allocating the money the PCT had set aside for demand management.