FINANCE: Yorkshire Ambulance Service Trust has reported spending more than budgeted this year, partly because of unexpected costs associated with NHS 111.
The trust, in partnership with out-of-hours provider Local Care Direct, provides NHS 111 for the Yorkshire and Humber region. The partnership also provides GP out-of-hours services in part of the area.
A trust board paper reported that, at the end of August, its earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation (a measure of financial performance used by Monitor) for the previous five months was £5.4m. That was below the trust’s year to date plan of £6.3m.
Its surplus was £682,000, whereas it had planned for £1.4m.
Some of the overspend was due to overtime and payments to providers to help meet response time targets.
In addition, the pay budget related to the NHS 111 service was overspent by £570,000, while pay linked to GP out-of-hours services was overspent by £125,000.
The document stated that overspend was partly due to transfer of undertakings (protection of employment) costs – for staff transfers – being “much higher than anticipated at bid stage”. Ambulance services which are running NHS 111 agreed to take on transferred staff from NHS Direct as part of the change.
The overspend was also due to “additional unfunded support, and the GP [out-of-hours] staff who should have finished at end of March but had to stay due to the phased go live”. This refers to additional staff support required to run NHS 111 as it was introduced, over a longer period than planned.
There were numerous national problems and delays implementing the service.