FINANCE: Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust was recording a significant £7.9m deficit at the end of November - the most recent month for which HSJ has information on the foundation.

Board papers said: “Clearly, the deficit of almost £8m after eight months of the year is a significant cause for concern both in terms of delivery of this year’s financial plan and in terms of the outlook for future years.

“The month eight position absorbs a contract income underperformance of £1.2m. Netted off this figure is £2.6m of income losses associated with the emergency threshold and the outpatient follow up cap (this is a net decrease of £0.1m from month seven).”

The papers add: “Whilst outpatient losses appear to have stabilised over the last three months, if the levels of such activity are not significantly curtailed in the remainder of the year, and capacity reduced or reutilised, this will be a major financial pressure as expenditure is being incurred on activity which is not being paid for in part or in full.”

They say the main commissioning primary care trust, NHS Sheffield, “has a significant projected deficit” and challenged the foundation trust on £4.3m of its quarter one and quarter two income.

The board paper state: “All issues have been rebutted however the PCT is continuing to pursue two issues. An assessment has been made of the potential loss from quarter one and quarter two (including any full year effect) and other income challenges and this assessment is reflected in the month eight position.

“The adverse weather conditions in December 2010 have resulted in significant income losses such that the year to date position will deteriorate further in December
2010,” they add.