FINANCE: Colchester Hospital University Foundation Trust has revised its forecast up to a £21m deficit for 2014-15.

The trust was forecasting an £8.1m deficit for 2014/15 at the start of the financial year. This was then escalated to £15.9m in June. The latest revision was announced at its board meeting this month at which it also emerged that the Essex trust had declared a “major incident” following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

The trust’s performance report warned that its financial position needed “to improve significantly and rapidly”.

Interim chief executive Lucy Moore revealed the state of the finances at a trust’s council of governors meeting yesterday.

Dr Moore revealed trust had opened initial discussions with watchdog Monitor about borrowing money from the Department of Health.

East Anglia Daily Times reports Dr Moore telling the meeting: “For month six our deficit is just more than £13m - that’s the difference between income and expenditure.

“We have drawn up revised forecast outturn with a range of best, worst and likely position. The current likely forecast is just more than £21m deficit, and [the interim finance director] has identified a number of risks.

“Our cash position has deteriorated and we have something like £25m cash in the bank.

“Overspending at the rate we are, that sum is going to dwindle and will have consequences going into the next financial year.

“The current forecast is we will be able to manage our cash this year but next year we will need to find a way of borrowing in order to cover the period going forward.

“My judgement would be this is less to do with escalating costs than a plan which was not fully on top of what we knew was going to happen.”

The trust is also failing against key clinical performance targets. It failed its “cancer, accident and emergency, and referral to treatment targets for month six”, according to a performance report.

The report added: “Weekly performance and activity review meetings chaired by the chief operating officer have been established with all divisional service managers and associate directors of operations, reviewing all key performance standards and action plans by specialty.”