FINANCE: Medway NHS Foundation Trust was expecting to end the previous financial year with a small deficit, according to council of governor papers from June.

The trust’s financial plan was to deliver a surplus of £1.2m and a financial risk rating of 3 by the end of the 2011-12 financial year.

The papers state that the pre-audit financial position for March was a surplus of £0.7m, which was “marginally adverse” to plan by £0.1m.

“This means that the cumulative deficit for the financial year was £0.5m, which is an adverse position of £1.7m against the plan for the financial year,” the papers state.

The council of governors noted that trust income continued to be ahead of plan but pay expenditure, non-pay expenditure and savings were all behind plan.

The trust significantly improved its financial performance over the second half of the financial year, generating a surplus of £1.9m. But the improvement was not enough to counter poor performance over the first half of the year, which saw the cumulative deficit reach a peak of £2.3m in September.

Trust director of nursing Jacqueline McKenna told the council: “The plan for the first six months had been over ambitious and resulted in a poor start to the year. However interventions were put in place to rectify this which had resulted in a surplus being returned over the last five months and the trust expected to meet the revised plan for the end of the financial year.”

Non-executive director Colin Wilby added that the trust had “been unable to catch up following the poor start, which was compounded by having to pay back £800k to the primary care trust as well as incurring high consultant costs”.