Disputes concerning over-performance at acute level have been largely resolved, University College London Hospitals foundation trust has said.

The trust has been involved in a wrangle with host primary care trust Camden, along with Westminster and Islington PCTs, about over-performance and coding.

This week, UCLH said 'constructive discussions' had meant that, of£3m of activity which had been the subject of dispute with Camden PCT, 'less than 10 per cent' of that value was now unresolved. Trust chief executive Robert Naylor said the PCT had agreed that 90 per cent of the charges were valid.

Of the£290,000 of activity still being disputed, he said the trust 'recognises about a third of that as legitimate' and he described the sum as 'small change' in the context of the PCT's annual£450m contract with the trust. He said such disputes were 'a fact of life' that the NHS would 'have to get used to'. And he suggested the refusal of some PCTs to pay for activity while disputes are resolved left 'more and more acutes in a powerless state'.

UCLH opened its new£422m hospital in 2005 and, while activity at the trust reduced as it transferred services, the increasing number of patients treated since it opened was another reason for increases in activity, the trust said.

Mr Naylor said the trust was still in talks with the Department of Health about how to ensure the tariff fairly reflected the costs for hospitals that received more patients with serious and complex conditions.

'We are constantly arguing about payment by results, as it is based on the average cost for a procedure, and we need to be properly recompensed for the service we provide.

'There should be a specialist tariff, to be increased to reflect the real cost of treating patients. We are still at the forefront of that discussion with the DoH.'