PERFORMANCE: The foundation is underperforming on five commissioning for quality and innovation schemes, which make a proportion of its income dependent on quality improvements.

The latest finance report for NHS Knowsley shows that at December 2010, the FT was behind on CQUIN commitments to encourage breastfeeding, improve discharge planning, and to establish a system to ensure all pregnant women booking with the hospital are offered the chance to participate in a Downs Syndrome screening programme.

It was also underperforming on commitments relating to smoking, and to supporting vaginal births after caesarean.

The foundation was meeting seven CQUIN commitments, including measures intended to increase the rate of normal births, reduce pressure ulcers, prevent falls, and to stop inappropriate weight loss and dehydration in hospitals.

NHS Knowsley’s finance report said the contract was being monitored by NHS Liverpool and was a “work in progress and has yet to be finally agreed with the trusts”. It said: “In the event that performance improves or worsens a financial adjustment will be made against the 2011-12 contract to ensure that PCTs pay for actual performance delivered.”

It added: “NHS Knowsley, as an associate to several acute contracts, has been clear that it will only make payment where schemes deliver against plan and that Trusts should not assume payment as a matter of course.”