FINANCE: The foundation trust was forecasting a £2.6m shortfall on its £12.7m cost improvement programme for 2011-12, before the use of contingency reserves, its 30 April board papers show.

Warrington and Halton had agreed by that date plans to deliver £12.1m of the savings it needs, including increased car parking charges, a target reduction of four non-ward based specialist nurses posts, and reductions in elective bed capacity over summer.

But at 30 April the trust was forecasting it would make savings of only £10.1m in the year.

The report stated: “The key risk to future performance will be the delivery of CIP whilst at the same time ensuring contract activity levels are delivered and underlying budgets controlled.

“The performance management of the CIP will need to have increased focus at the Change Programme Board and swift and timely action will be required if actual performance overall deviates adversely from plan”.