FINANCE: Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust has warned performance difficulties during a “difficult summer” have led it to predict a year-end deficit of £12m.

Its deficit of £6.5m at the end of month four was £1.9m more than had been predicted.

A finance report delivered to Worcestershire’s September board meeting said: “The trust has faced a difficult summer period and despite the increased clinical investment to maintain quality and improve flow, elective income is significantly down.

“This is due to an inability to fully utilise theatres due to increased length of stay and high numbers of delayed transfers of care.”

The board paper added: “In addition, the trust has increased its substantive nursing workforce, in order to improve staffing levels, but this has not yet led to the expected reduction in temporary staffing spend.

“Financial recovery plans are being drawn up to stop the deterioration of the trust’s financial position, and to return to the planned trajectory.”

In May the trust learnt there would be no repeat of the £10m transitional support it was given in 2012-13. Meanwhile, local clinical commissioning groups removed £2.6m of previously agreed maternity and paediatric funding.