• Monitor confirmed tariff increase for Morecambe Bay trust in July
  • However, the troubled FT is yet to receive any additional funding
  • Trust chief executive says there is “disconnect” between various authorities

FINANCE: A troubled hospital trust in the North West has still not received any extra tariff income, five months after regulators announced a change to its rates.

In July, Monitor changed the national prices for University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust in six treatment areas.

Jackie Daniel

Jackie Daniel

Jackie Daniel said ‘there’s a bit of a disconnect in the system’

The agreement, known as a local price modification, was the first time Monitor had used its statutory powers to change the national prices paid by local commissioners. It was expected to result in more than £20m of extra funding for the FT in 2015-16.

However, the trust is yet to receive any additional cash as the local commissioners have said they cannot fund the new tariff without support from NHS England.

Trust chief executive Jackie Daniel told HSJ: “There’s a bit of a disconnect in the system in terms of one piece of the system saying ‘yes we agree with the numbers’, and then trying to get the money allocated and deciding where it’s coming from.”

The FT’s board papers for November said this disconnect is the biggest risk to the cash position.

The trust has planned for a deficit of £23m for 2015-16, but this is dependent on receiving additional income under the local price modification. At the end of October it was already reporting a deficit of £21m, which was £8m worse than planned.

The papers said the Department of Health had agreed to increase an agreed revenue loan from £29m to £39m, which means “the trust will now have sufficient access to cash for December 2015 whilst negotiations continue to secure payment of the [local price modification]”.

NHS England and Lancashire North Clinical Commissioning Group did not respond when asked to comment.

A spokeswoman for NHS Cumbria CCG said: “Local and national organisations are working together to find a satisfactory resolution to this issue in the current financial year.”

The parties are considering how the tariff will work with the emerging “accountable care organisation”, which is part of the Better Care Together strategy.