FINANCE: Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust has only saved £3.7m out of its £12.1m savings plan for 2010-11.

Board papers say the financial year “has been a challenging year for the trust”.

Planned savings were “with the benefit of hindsight, insufficiently defined”. Of the predicted £3.7m savings, £0.5m is non recurring.

The budgets for the year 2010-11 assumed that non elective admissions would reduce by around 1,850, in line with the plans set by commissioners.

This reduction did not materialise and non elective admissions for 2010-11 were circa 900 spells above the previous year and 2750 above the 2010-11 planned level.

This placed additional strain on the hospitals, which had to “gear up to treat these additional patients using expensive temporary staff”.

The unplanned over performance was penalised by the 30 per cent marginal tariff rate, reducing income by around £3.5m.

The trust secured £5m of financial support from NHS West Midlands but, as this support was agreed for one year only the trust needs to set a budget for 2011-12 which will deliver at least a financial break-even position.

According to an HSJ investigation, next year it is planning to save 5.5 per cent of turnover, which was £280.7m in 2010-11.