FINANCE: At the end of April the foundation had identified just £6.9m of the £13.8m cash-releasing savings it needs in 2011-12, board papers show.

By division, WUTH’s surgery division had the biggest shortfall in its cost improvement programme plans for this financial year, with “green” rated plans for just £533,000 of the £3.4m savings it needs in the current financial year. The division had amber-rated plans for a further £942,000 savings, with the remaining  £1.9m rated red.

The foundation’s April finance report stated: “There still remains a significant gap in achieving the 2011-12 CIP and progress needs to be made to avoid de-stabilising the financial position.”

In April, Wirral’s shortfall against its CIP was £498,000, which was covered by the £3m mitigation reserve it set aside for the year. That figure was nearly double the £250,000 per month set aside by the foundation, but this was expected “and as schemes are identified and actioned during the year the monthly shortfall will reduce,” the report stated.

It added: “In order to maintain a level 3 performance [against regulator Monitor’s assessment framework] in month a further £166,000 has been applied from other reserves (eg inflation).”