FINANCE: Delays in the franchise contract for Hinchingbrooke Health Care could have an impact on the trust’s challenging savings targets, according to board papers.

The trust’s finance report for May said the £6.7m cost improvement programme target, worth 6.3 per cent of the trust’s turnover, was “challenging” but in line with the national average.

It said: “The plan assumes £1.1m of Circle funding in year 1 of the franchise which has been profiled from the second half of 2011-12. Delays in contract signing could impact on the total amount of funding received.”

It also said “Reducing Length of Stay” and “Improving Emergency Access” initiatives had a combined planned saving of £850,000 in 2011-12.

But there were “potential for reduced savings result from discussions on going about a clinically-led proposal for a new front of house model for the Trust,” it said.

“Any risk arising from this in terms of reduced savings will be calculated as soon as any model is finalised,” it added.