FINANCE: A warning that 2012-13 could be a difficult year for PCT and hospital finances was given to Southend University Hospital Foundation Trust’s board.

The trust is unlikely to make all its proposed cost improvements this year, which is linked to slow progress on disinvestment schemes at the PCT. The trust is also over performing on its contract with the PCT which the trust identifies as a risk for the PCT and evidence that schemes are delivering at a slower pace than hoped.

“The PCT is to call down cash previously deposited with the SHA to cover its overspends. Significantly then this is largely exhausted, leaving little room for manoeuvre next year,” according to a report to December’s board meeting.

The trust was overspent on its pay budget by £4.3m by November and was warning that much of its pay costs were fixed, which would present a challenge for future years.