FINANCE: Slow progress on a series of planned public health initiatives are the “main reason” for the primary care trust’s plan to lodge an extra £2.5m with NHS North West this year.

The PCT had budgeted to spend £7.035m this year on public health investments, including programmes to tackle childhood obesity, alcohol problems, and sexual health, a document produced for its latest board meeting shows.

But by the end of November it had spent just £2.289m and was forecasting it would under spend the budget by £3.857m for 2010-11.

A finance report to the same board meeting said in total the PCT had budgeted to make £14.486m of strategic plan investments in this financial year, but by the end of November had allocated just £5.035m.

The report said a “detailed forecast of the projected spend for 2010-11” was the “main reason for the additional offer of lodgement to the strategic health authority of approximately £2.5m”.

But it acknowledged there was “a risk that the PCT will over achieve its surplus for 2010-11 and this may not be returned in 2011-12”.

The SHA’s “acceptance of additional lodgements will be dependent on the overall North West position”, it added.