FINANCE: Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust has not yet reached a funding agreement with Wiltshire primary care trust, including over a significant savings gap.

Papers for the acute trust’s April board meeting say NHS Wiltshire is proposing a lower allocation than the trust’s assumptions for 2011-12, with the “majority of this gap” associated with savings under the Quality, Innovation, Productivity, Prevention programme which have yet to be agreed.

They state: “Importantly there is a difference of roughly £7m between the Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust funding assumptions from Wiltshire PCT compared with their proposed quantum and the majority of this gap is to do with QIPP savings that are not agreed.”

It adds: “The financial climate has deteriorated significantly compared with recent years and resources are very much more constrained. To achieve a financial balance will involve the trust becoming even more efficient and in particular reducing length of stay. This is also an important quality issue as it is not good for patients to be in hospital unless absolutely necessary.”

At the end of February, the trust was set to break even for 2010-11. However that assumes a payment for overactivity from NHS Wiltshire, which is currently the subject of a dispute.

The PCT is introducing new measures to limit demand, saving £1.8m, including a list of procedures that they will not fund or will only fund under agreement from their exception committee.