FINANCE: At the end of October 2011 the primary care trust had under-spent its budget to the value of £1.7m, according to its latest finance report.

The main areas of under-spending were £617,000 on primary care, £1.1m on acute care, and £524,000 on continuing care. The surplus was partly offset by a £610,000 over-spend on mental health services.

The report added that its commissioning teams were now “identifying where funds could be utilised to meet key strategic priorities”, including tackling winter pressures and paying for “spend to save” quality, innovation, productivity and prevention (QIPP) initiatives.

“These schemes are now being implemented to ensure the funding is fully utilised prior to the end of the financial year,” it continued. “Pressures to the value of £2.6m have been identified during the course of the financial year. The main component of this relates to transitional costs to support Pennine Acute [Hospital NHS Trust]”.