FINANCE: Oxford University Hospitals Trust is to focus its cost improvement programme on workforce savings.

Board papers reveal the trust made 97 per cent of its planned efficiency savings in the first two months of 2013-14 but there was a potential £1.1m gap between forecast and plan for the whole year.

“A particular focus of the CIP process is the delivery of effective initiatives in the area of workforce expenditure,” the papers said .

“These initiatives will support the extant divisional workforce plans for the forthcoming financial years, and will also seek to address the challenges surrounding the current levels of agency staff usage.”

The trust’s finance report emphasised the importance of saving money this year.

“The trust will need to retain a tight control over its expenditure since, in contrast to recent years, income is unlikely to exceed materially planned levels,” the report said. “It will therefore be particularly important for the trust to generate reductions in spending through its savings plans, and to find alternative projects if existing schemes start to slip.”