STRUCTURE: The proposed transfer of services from NHS Worcestershire to Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust is proving “problematic” due to negotiations over the financial package.

The PCT’s board papers say “any potential transfer” will now happen on 1 July, in line with the creation of the new Worcestershire Health & Care Trust.

All of the operational and HR issues have been agreed but it has been difficult to agree a financial package for the services.

The papers states: “This is for two reasons, firstly because the acute trust expectation of the funding they would receive for ‘overheads’ is higher than has historically been incorporated into the provider arm budgets and secondly that in relation to the breast screening service cost pressures mean that expenditure during 2010-11 is predicted to exceed income.”

The work to transfer breast screening has been underway for over two years now and the separate project group that has been in operation has been seeking to identify additional commissioning resource.

The general issue regarding overheads will be subject to an “arbitration” process, with an “obvious time pressure of getting this concluded as soon as practically possible to create certainty for the staff involved”, the papers said.