Health executives are closely monitoring six NHS trusts in the region that have fallen into debt.
Solihull Care Trust, Worcester Acute Hospitals, in charge of Redditch and Kidderminster hospitals and Worcester Mental Health Partnership are among those deemed the most “at risk” by NHS West Midlands health authority.
Paul Taylor, finance director for NHS West Midlands, reported that monitoring was in place as Solihull Care Trust, which had recorded a deficit of £1.5 million from April this year, Worcester Acute Hospitals, which was £375,000 in debt, and the Mental Health Partnership, which was £255,000 in the red.
Other concerns were over University Hospitals of North Staffordshire having a deficit of £1.85 million so far this year, North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare at £139,000 in the red plus Hereford Hospital at £617,000 and Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals recording £804,000 debts.
Mr Taylor said that all were forecast to at least break even or have a surplus by the end of the financial year in March under strict plans.
“The health authority is currently reporting that no organisations will be in deficit at the end of the 2010/11 year,” said Mr Taylor.
“A number of Primary Care Trusts and trusts continue to operate with difficult financial positions and are being closely monitored to ensure corrective actions are in place to achieve a year-end break-even.
“Those rated as high risk are required to report detailed month-on-month income on expenditure profiles along with activity, staffing and bed capacity data.”
Solihull Care Trust’s financial concerns stem from a failure to meet a £1.1 million savings programme and hospital “over performance” costs of £400,000.
More service redesign schemes are being pushed through to address the cash shortfall.
Worcestershire hospitals are struggling due to changes in contract income and emergency activity with all expenditure under review.
The Mental Health Trust has overspent on locums and agency staff plus mental health placement budgets.
The trust has said action plans include more robust procedures to control the appointment of agency locums.
University Hospitals of North Staffordshire and North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare both have deficits arising from slippages to savings schemes.
Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals is facing problems because of the impact of adjustments to A&E income fees alongside expenditure on medical agency staff going over plan.
The trust is now reviewing junior medical staffing and rotas, is looking at plans to make posts more attractive, and negotiating local locum pay rates.
Hereford Hospitals has blamed year-to-date deficits on income shortfalls due to cancelled operations because of significant A&E and emergency activity. This is coupled with an overspend on clinical budgets and cost pressures forced by higher than anticipated inflation on a private finance initiative contract.
The financial concerns come as all NHS trusts across the region are being forced to cut back.
The Birmingham Post revealed this month that hospitals in the West Midlands were being ordered to cut back by £87.5 million before April by the Government.
The Department of Health and Monitor, the overseeing body of Foundation hospitals, have imposed NHS trusts with strict savings plans for this financial year.
Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals Trust, in charge of Winson Green’s City Hospital, Sandwell Hospital, in West Bromwich and Rowley Regis Hospital, is being forced to make the biggest savings of £20million, five per cent of its budget.
The highest percentage cut affects Northfield’s Royal Orthopaedic Hospital at 5.1 per cent – a figure of £3.2million.