FINANCE: Royal United Hospital Bath Trust has still not signed a contract with its lead commissioner for 2011-12, less than three months before the end of the financial year.

NHS Bath and North East Somerset board papers from 11 January reveal the sticking points were agreement over fines for breach of the 18-week waiting target and readmissions.

The report said that while agreement was “close” on the fines, “there remains a difference in interpretation regarding admissions”. An action plan has been produced and shared with NHS South of England, the papers said.

The primary care trust had overspent at the trust by more than £1m against planned levels at the end of November. It has agreed to provide non-recurrent funding to cover the trust’s backlog of patients waiting longer than 18 weeks.

RUH has a turnover of about £175m, of which 80 per cent comes from the NHS Bath and North East Somerset and NHS Wiltshire PCT cluster.

A spokesman for the Bath PCT said: “A final position on contract details relating to the funding of activity has now been reached and contract documents are being prepared in readiness for signing.”