FINANCE: Commissioners in West Kent have already been forced to dip into contingency reserves due to excess activity by their acute providers, board papers reveal.

The finance report from the July board meeting of the Kent and Medway primary care trust cluster details the position of both the NHS West Kent and emerging clinical commissioning groups.

For the period ending June 2012, the report said CCGs within the PCT were reporting achievement of the overall planned financial position on both a year-to-date and forecast outturn basis.

But the report added: “It is important to note that this position is only secured through the deployment of a significant proportion of available contingency within CCGs.”

Across the remainder of budgets outside the scope of CCGs, primary care costs are exceeding planned levels by £415,000, the report said.

“Of the £10m available contingency, some £3.3m has already been deployed into the year to date position,” it warned.

“The rate of overspend against plans is not sustainable and remedial action is required to ensure deliver planned financial positions,” the report stated.

Performance data for acute contracts confirmed that activity and financial performance at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust and [Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust] was “running in excess of planned levels”.

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