FINANCE: Southend University Hospital Foundation Trust is expected to post a deficit of £7.8m this financial year.

More than half of the deficit is linked to payments for staff.

In December the trust had a deficit of £7.7m, against a forecast of breaking even at this stage of the year.

A report in board papers on the Trust’s financial position states: “The performance in December suffered from a retrospective loss of income in respect of medical training and there are still significant pressures on drugs and clinical supplies as well as cost improvements in general.”