FINANCE: A foundation trust with high-profile financial difficulties has been given an extra three months to finalise its commissioner contract for 2011-12.

Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is currently working with Berkshire East primary care trust to review the entire contract.

A PCT spokesman told HSJ the move would “ensure that the 2011-12 contract is based on accurate activity data and costings.”

The 2010-11 contract, worth £143m, is forecast to overspend by £5m.

The Department of Health granted the foundation trust an £18m loan last September to help it turn around its financial position, which was widely publicised. HSJ understands the foundation trust was due to discuss its position with the DH this week.

The provider has a long-running dispute with the PCT, claiming in January that payment delays were putting its financial position at risk, and blaming a 20 per cent overperformance on inpatient and outpatient activity on a the commissioner’s failure to manage demand. The foundation trust has been judged to be “in significant breach of its authorisation” by regulator Monitor since July 2009.