FINANCE: The Dudley Group Foundation Trust is at risk of overshooting its planned deficit for 2014-15 after making a “poor start” to the year.

According to its July board papers, the West Midlands trust posted a deficit of £3m in the first two months of the year; equivalent to its planned deficit for the whole of the first quarter.

If the present “run rate” of spending and income continues it will result in a deficit “much higher” than the £6.7m the Dudley Group has planned for.

The trust is behind its plan because of slippage against targeted savings and lower than expected income.

A failure to achieve sufficient savings at the start of the year means the Dudley Group is now unlikely to deliver the £10.8m for 2014-15 earmarked in its “turnaround plan”, which aims to secure the financial stability of the trust by the end of 2015-16. The latest savings forecast for this year is £9.8m.

Clinical income is also lower than planned because while levels of emergency and unplanned activity have been high, the trust is falling behind on more profitable elective activity.

Dudley Group chief executive Paula Clark said the trust would “strive” toward keeping as close as possible to its planned £6.7m deficit by the year end.