FINANCE: Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals FT has attributed its over activity on Berkshire East PCT’s failure to manage demand and expressed concern at an “unacceptable” delay in payment.

The trust reported that it continues to treat a higher volume of patients than had been agreed with the PCT as part of the Trust’s 2010/11 contract. It said this was “largely due to the failure of the PCT’s demand management initiatives”.

Contracted activity is 7.2 per cent over plan at the trust.

The trusts finance report said: “The activity above plan has increased the Trust’s cost pressures and the Trust is currently in discussions with the PCT to obtain the income that it is due under the contract. Full settlement has yet to be reached on this issue despite the significant improvement in the Trust’s data quality processes and the Trust is now greatly concerned as to the unacceptable time delay in being paid for the over-performance.

The trust reported that this poses an increased risk its financial position. It said: “The trust is taking all available measures to escalate the situation with the PCT to ensure the urgent resolution of this risk.”

NHS Berkshire East deputy chief executive David Williams said the PCT had reduced GP referrals by 15 per cent in the last year and was discussing “data quality issues” with the trust.

He said: “Patient activity at the hospitals is not just generated by GPs but also through internal referrals between teams and admissions through accident and emergency.”