FINANCE: The Princess Alexandra Hospital Trust has reigned in its spending and is predicting a year-end breakeven, thanks largely to reductions in workforce expenditure.

The trust still had an in-year deficit of £474,000 in February but its finance report said: “Overall pay expenditure decreased by £381,000 from December to January, primarily due to a reduction in bank and agency spend.”

The report said the monthly bill over that period was £639,000 (6.34 per cent), lower than the average monthly pay bill in the first half of the year with the greatest improvement (£271,000) in medical staff.

It said temporary staff costs needed to remain a focus for reducing the trust’s costs. It said: “The agency pay bill represents 2.6 per cent of the total pay bill in January, a reduction from a high of 8.1 per cent earlier in the year.”

The report cautions that a “further £1m in cost savings needs to be found in the last three months of the year” to achieve breakeven.