FINANCE: The trust was 45 per cent behind on its challenging cost improvement programme savings at the end of the first quarter of 2011-12, board papers show.

Southport and Ormskirk has an £8.6m savings target for this financial year, and aimed to make £1.5m of those savings in the first three months, according to its latest finance report.

In fact it realised savings of £815,000 in that period – a shortfall of £670,000.

The report states: “Due to the slippage to date on the CIP it is looking unlikely that the plan will be delivered in the current year. This will need to be bridged by other measures.

“The latest projections suggest that the £8.6m plan will be delivered in full year effect terms which is reassuring going into 2012-13.”

It adds: “A large proportion of the CIP is reliant on a reduction in staff either through skill mix reviews, management structure changes or from the [voluntary redundancy] programme.

“The Trust has been in discussions with cluster PCT representatives as well as the SHA in order to expedite the release of the savings from the VR process. The majority of these savings will materialise in the second half of this financial year.”