FINANCE: Southern Health has been forced to release reserves to mitigate overspends in its mental health, community services and corporate services divisions.

The trust’s quality and performance report for November said: “The clinical service divisions and corporate directorates are reporting an adverse variance against plan of £3.3m at September 2011, predominantly due to slippage in implementing recurrent cost improvement plans.

“Reserves have been applied to mitigate this position”, and to enable the trust to report that its finances are in line with plan,” the report said.  

The trust’s mental health and learning disability directorate is £1.5m overspent, predominantly on adult mental health services. The report said the year-end forecast was for a £2m deficit. The issue was being “actively performance managed”, with the overspend down to £100,000 in October.

Community services were £1.2m overspend, “due to CIP slippage of £0.7m and dental services that are showing an adverse variance of £0.4m, predominantly due to underperformance on contracts with NHS Hampshire and NHS Portsmouth City”.

The directorate broke even in September, but the predicted year-end position is forecast to be an £1.8m overspend. Contracts with NHS Hampshire are being renegotiated.

Corporate services are reporting an overspend against plan of £0.7m. It is now forecast that corporate services will be reporting a year-end overspend of between £1.0m and £1.5m for 2011-12.

It is now forecast that the trust will slip £3.4m behind the trust’s 2011-12 £23.7m CIP target will be delivered in 2011-12. Only 69 per cent will be achieved recurrently in year. “This is being offset by the application of reserves”, the report says.