FINANCE: Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust has £5m of income at risk in the last few weeks of this financial year.

The trust could lose £3m in funding from NHS Leeds, Bradford and Airedale if its A&E performance against the four hour standard does not improve. Another £2m in CQUIN funding is also at risk.

The trust is massively behind on its planned surplus. A finance report to the board reveals that at the end of January the trust’s surplus was £3.8m against a plan of £13.6m.

The report says the trust’s “run rate” needs to improve by £7m in the last two months of the year: some of this will be done by lower expenditure but about £4m is coming from the SHA (including the deanery) and commissioners “in recognition of winter pressures and other expenditure incurred in sustaining performance.” Better A&E performance and avoiding penalties for c difficile cases are key deliverables in this.

But even if the trust delivered a £5m surplus it acknowledges this would be lower than Monitor normally requires for foundation trust status. It would have a financial risk rating of three but would miss two of the requirements for aspirant foundation trusts – delivering a one per cent surplus and having 10 days operating expenditure (£25m)as cash balances.

Agency staff costs – close to £2m a month - are highlighted as contributing to the financial pressures.