Royal Cornwall Hospital heading for deficit

RCHT Emergency Department sign
Image caption The hospital trust faces a £2.6m overspend on emergency surgeries

Cornwall's biggest hospital is heading towards a deficit this year say managers, who had hoped for a surplus.

The Royal Cornwall Hospital had planned to be £2.7m in surplus by the end of December, but it was actually £5.6m in the red, £8.6m off its target.

"It is currently likely that the Trust will end the financial year in deficit," said a report to the board.

Overspending in January was £1.1m, through savings failures and higher-than-planned emergency surgery costs.

'High concern'

The trust only receives 30% of the cost of emergency surgeries above a certain level, under rules introduced in 2010.

The government said it was intended as a way of "encouraging NHS providers and commissioners to manage demand".

The report to the board said the change had cost the trust £2m so far and was forecast to hit £2.6m by the end of the financial year.

Adam Wheeldon, the hospital trust's deputy director of finance said in the report: "This is a significant financial and operational risk to the trust and continues to be of high concern."

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