FINANCE: West Hertfordshire Hospitals had a deficit of £0.5m at the end of February – but was hoping to breakeven at the end of the year.

The trust had originally had a planned surplus of £3.1m.

Its March board meeting heard that agreement on estates double running costs and other transformation bids were needed to reach a breakeven position. The trust has overspend on pay against budget during the year by £5.3m, and has failed to achieve all its cost improvement savings. 

Only £8.5m out of a £11.9m target are expected to be delivered – and as late as the end of February the expected savings had been downgraded by £0.4m.

It has also seen a loss of income on elective cardiology of £0.5m because the trust’s cardiac catether lab has been used for emergency activity.

If it does manage to break even, the trust will achieve a three rating against the Monitor financial risk scale. It expects to only have five days liquidity - £3m – at year end.