FINANCE: The Royal Berkshire Foundation trust’s year to date deficit increased by a third in a single month, reaching £3.7m in October.

The deficit for October was £900,000. For the first seven months of 2012-13 the trust, which is supposed to deliver a £3m surplus by the end of the year, was £5.6m behind budget.

The trust held £17.5m in cash - £6.4m lower than forecast, due in part to the timing of working capital.

Royal Berkshire’s “key financial aim” for the year is to maintain our financial risk rating of three through at least breaking even, and maintaining a cash balance of £20m.

The trust’s cost improvement plan was £1.8m behind plan at £4.5m in the year to date.

The trust’s financial troubles were blamed partly on the introduction of Cerner’s Millennium electronic patient record system, which was making it difficult to accurately capture activity and income.

Other factors included delayed transfers of care, and an increase in emergency admissions.