FINANCE: South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was £700,000 behind its financial plan at the end of April, one month into the financial year.

A board paper says its income and expenditure position showed a deficit of £1.7m - around £0.3m behind plan for the month - but after considering non-recurring income there is an “underlying financial position £0.7m behind plan”.

However the papers state: “This is the first report against a new plan and we should be cautious about drawing firm conclusions at this stage in the year… As plans to deliver the trust’s full productivity and efficiency requirement have yet to be identified, this is not surprising.”

They add: “This is not currently presenting us with critical problems with financial risk ratings or cash flow but if this shortfall is not addressed quickly the trust will be unable to deliver its financial plan. This is the key financial issue facing the trust.”

The planned end of year position is a surplus, but if the April trend were to continue the trust would only break even.