FINANCE: At the end of the first two months of 2011-12 the trust had made savings of just £126,000 against a plan to save £15.2m for the full financial year, according to its latest finance report.

NCUHT reported a surplus of just £6,000 for the period, against plans to have made a surplus of £153,000 by that point in the year.

While the trust was ahead of plan on income, the report stated: “Financial gains on income are offset by overspending on pay which is reporting, after two months, an adverse variance of £235k.”

It continued: “The core team supporting the turnaround process has been changed in recent months and this change has adversely impacted upon previously gathered momentum. To date £126k of cost improvement plan has been delivered against an annual requirement of £15.2m.

“The turnaround process has been re-launched with specific individuals identified to drive the delivery of the requisite targets into operational achievement paying particular attention to increasing clinical engagement, pace of delivery and a broader base of accountability around achievement.”

The report added that at that point the trust had still not agreed its patient care contract with NHS Cumbria. “[These] negotiations are expected to conclude by the end of June,” it stated. “The current financial position therefore assumes positive resolution to all contractual and financing issues with commissioners and the SHA.”