FINANCE: The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital Foundation Trust has seen a 22 per cent shortfall in spinal activity in the first quarter of 2012-13.

Trust board papers, released to HSJ under the Freedom of Information Act, reveal that the shortfall has happened since the Midlands and East Specialist Commissioning Group took over commissioning specialised spinal services.

The trust’s contract was £495,000 under plan at the end of quarter one.

“This performance links back to the low theatre utilisation within the spinal directorate in the early part of this financial year, which stood at 54% for April and May,” the papers say.

Local performance against the Birmingham and Solihull primary care trust cluster contract shows a underperformance of £98,000 in the first quarter, equating to a one per cent shortfall against plan.

However the contract with Dudley PCT was overperforming by £67,000, or nine per cent in the first quarter. This was driven by overpeformance on non-elective arthroplasty.

The trust also exceeded its admitted patient target by 62 spells in June, which contributed towards an in month surplus of £193,000 against a plan of £38,000.

“This has increased the year to date position to £396,000, which is £116,000 ahead of the planned position – enabling the trust to achieved its planned Monitor financial risk rating of four for quarter one.