FINANCE: The primary care trust has set aside an £8m reserve in its 2011-12 accounts against the possibility that it might have to “reinstate” secure mental health funds it used years ago to plug overspends on other services.

A report to Western Cheshire’s May board meeting states that in 2007-8 “an £8m management accounting surplus on national secure mental health was used to offset a management accounting deficit in the primary care trust”.

The deficit, it says, was caused primarily by cost pressures from “cross-border flows” of patients from Wales into Western Cheshire.

The report continues: “Over the next two years, the funding flows which underpin NHS Western Cheshire will be redirected across a number of new organisations. Consequently, the 2011-12 operational plan has created a reserve of £8m to cover the event that funding used in 2007-08 may need to be reinstated.

“The reserve has been generated by non-recurrent access to the 2 per cent recurrent surplus currently held by NHS North West,” it says.