FINANCE: Warwickshire primary care trust has had to offset overperformance on its acute contracts by releasing £1.3m worth of reserves.

The PCT’s finance report for July said that, while non-acute expenditure was within plan, contract performance in the first month of 2011-12 at both University Hospitals of Coventry and Warwickshire and George Eliot Hospital was above plan, due to pressure in non-elective treatment.

Its contract with South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust over-performed by £370,000 in the first two months of 2011-12, “which is almost entirely due to high cost drugs expenditure”.

The over-performance was offset by the release of £1.3m from the general reserve – accounting for a sixth of the PCT’s total reserve.

“This leaves no room for quality, innovation, productivity and prevention (QIPP) delivery failure or other unidentified risks and is unsustainable,” the finance report notes. “In order to offer assurance to the Board on the deliverability of the financial plan, demonstrable success in the QIPP schemes is required for the quarter one report.”

However, no detailed QIPP monitoring information is available for the first two months of 2011-12. Performance measurements against the efficiency programme were expected to come “on stream” from month three.