FINANCE: Changes to NHS tariff prices have made negotiating contracts for next year “very difficult” for the primary care trust, its 2011/12 financial plan reports.

“Contract negotiation and settlement for 2011/12 is proving to be a very difficult process, due primarily to the technical complexity of national tariff changes and the level of financial challenge this presents to Trusts,” the plan states.

“Consequently, although detailed offers have been made by Liverpool PCT in respect of all contracts for which it holds the lead commissioner role, in the absence of signed agreements, financial plans in this area must remain provisional.”

The plan assumes, based on the offers the PCT has made, that it will spend £21.6m on contract settlement next year.

In total, the commissioner expects to spend £79.8m in 2011/12, and to generate a planned surplus of £9.2m at year end.