FINANCE: East of England Ambulance Service Trust is likely to miss its financial plans after recording a deficit position for the sixth consecutive month.

A report discussed at its May board meeting said there was “a high degree of risk against the delivery of the trust’s financial plans”, with the deficit position principally driven by an overspend on its emergency operations patient administration system.

The report, by the trust’s finance director, said there was a “potential net risk against the delivery of the trust’s financial plans in excess of £11m”.

It said: “Should these issues crystallise as illustrated above, the trust would require a financial recovery plan of this magnitude in order to achieve its planned surplus of £3.1m.

“The table also indicates that at least £2.4m of this plan would need to be recurrent measures.”

“The trust has now recorded a deficit position for the sixth consecutive month and therefore there is a high degree of risk against the delivery of the Trust’s financial plans.”

The trust’s director of emergency operations is now reviewing “the use of PAS, in particular to ensure that value for money is achieved from targeting its use to appropriate activity”.

The report added that “revised management arrangements have been put in place in primary care to help improve cost control whilst improving service delivery [and] negotiations are continuing with commissioners over contractual issues”.

The trust reported a £886,000 budget deficit at the end of April 2013 against a planned surplus of £27,000.

A £1.2m overspend on PAS/VAS in emergency operations was responsible for the lion’s share of the deficit although the trust also racked up a £175,000 deficit against the planned delivery of CIPs for the month.