FINANCE Ipswich Hospital Trust has labelled its finances an area of “high risk” after auditors raised concerns about its savings plans.

The trust’s integrated performance report, published on its website this month, said its finances had a risk rating of “1”, denoting “high risk”.  

The report says the year to date position and “ongoing risks clearly place the trust’s forecast outturn at risk”.

It adds: “Unmitigated risk is forecast to be standing at c£9m.

“The executive team continues to work with divisions to prepare recovery plans and mitigate this risk. This work is expected to be complete in October.”

At the end of month four, the trust’s year to date position was a £3.4m deficit. The trust said this was “significantly adverse” to its forecast of a £200,000 surplus.

Warnings in the finance report follow the trust receiving its annual letter. In the letter, made public this month, auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers qualified its value for money conclusion.

The letter adds: “Future financial plans are not sufficiently well established to provide us with the necessary assurance that the trust can meet its future financial targets.

“At this point in time, however, we do not consider it necessary to issue a public interest report.”

The letter says the trust has not finished its cost improvement plan but in the draft PwC scrutinised for the audit letter, “many of the identified cost improvement schemes contained risk in relation to deliverability”.

The trust had also yet to identify £1.2m of its £12.8m CIP target.