FINANCE: Primary care trust clustering in South Essex has led to a “decline in morale”, according to a board report.

An implementation plan for the quality, innovation, productivity and prevention (QIPP) plan for the South Essex cluster - which includes South West Essex and South East Essex PCTs - was included in board papers.

It said: “NHS South Essex Cluster has a financial challenge of £77m in 2011-12 to move to a sustainable position across the whole health economy. This is a
significant challenge that will manifest itself in the latter half of the financial year. It is important for the cluster to remain focused on the QIPP programme
as the primary care trusts go through the clustering process.”

However it warned: “The clustering process has led to a loss of momentum and a decline in morale during the consultation period.”