FINANCE: The North of Tyne PCTs - Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland - are overspending against planned activity for Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals Foundation Trust, but still on target to meet their planned surplus.

A finance board paper says: “Financial pressures have increased at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals Foundation Trust with the overspend on contract to month 6 totalling £7.1m.

“This level of overperformance is not expected to fully annualise, as the [PCT cluster] has invoked an ‘activity management review’ with the provider which includes coding and counting challenges together with identification of mitigating actions to manage closer to contracted levels.

“The areas of overperformance are covered in more detail in the separate performance report but primarily occur in A&E, outpatients and daycase activity, the
latter being a consequence of progressing improved median and 95th percentile waiting times.”

There is a £1.4m overspend attributable to Newcastle PCT, £1.2m to Northumberland Care Trust, and £0.6m to North Tyneside PCT.

However, the PCTs are recording year-to-date underspends and are projecting to meet their collective control total of a £1m overspend.

The paper says: “The primary care organisations are broadly on target to achieve their statutory financial targets however it should be noted there are inherent risks to achieving this position not least winter pressures and cost consequences of continued progress on the [referral to treatement] waiting times at Newcastle Hospitals Foundation Trust. Whilst these pressures have a varying impact across the PCOs, Northumberland Care Trust is also financially challenge by levels of [continuing healthcare] expenditure, all of which need to be robustly managed to comply with the breakeven duty. To this end its finance sub group continues to meet to oversee management actions.”