FINANCE: The South West Essex primary care trust will need £8m of contingency funds to break even this year.

The PCT’s finance report said its forecast position, taking account of the actual position in February, “turnaround programme and other known commitments, is a deficit of £7.9m at year end against the control total set by the strategic health authority of £0.2m surplus”.

This position already takes account of £7m of returned deposits from the SHA, NHS East of England, and a £5.4m underspend against mental health expenditure.

But the PCT is reporting to the SHA that it will break even. It said: “The PCT has a statutory duty to break even at the end of the year and therefore it is necessary to continue to find ways and means to achieve this legal obligation.”

It suggested a “scenario” in which it is possible for the PCT to achieve the aim of breakeven via “release of contingency” worth £7.9m.