St Helens Clinical Commissioning Group is on course to reach its break-even target for the financial year despite going almost £5m into deficit, its chief finance officer has said.
The CCG currently has £13.7m of cumulative accrued deficit, which has been carried over from previous financial years.
For 2018-19 the CCG planned for a break-even plan so that the cumulative deficit does not increase any further.
However, during the course of the financial year the CCG estimated that it could be off track by the year end by as much as £9.3m.
This is primarily due to demand pressures, largely in relation to acute performance and emerging pressures in mental health budgets, as well as delays to savings schemes.
A number of mitigations were put in place last year to try and mitigate the CCG’s rising deficit in order to achieve a balanced budget by the end of the 2018-19.
According to the latest CCG papers, the CCG reported a year to date deficit of £4.7m as of month nine (December).
The report says: “The CCG continued to work on a series of mitigations throughout month nine and have continued this throughout January.
“It was recognised that in order to markedly improve the financial position in the final quarter of the financial year then a significant level of financial mitigation must be delivered.
“Further to the closure of the month nine financial position, the CCG has seen positive delivery of mitigating actions and financial improvements against some of the overspending budgets throughout January.”
The report adds that key budgets that are usually “volatile in nature” have stabilised or improved slightly in month nine.
Iain Stoddart, the CCG’s chief finance officer, told the governing body this week that the underlying financial position of the CCG has “deteriorated”.
Despite this, he said the CCG still maintains a forecast delivery of a break-even plan.
Mr Stoddart also highlighted that the CCG has been able to save £9.1m through various saving schemes.
He said the deficit figure submitted to NHS England this week for month 10 has reduced to £3.7m.
Mr Stoddart said: “The effect of those mitigations will bring the forecast outturn deficit down.
“We’re just below £4m of deficit but we have since we met last agreed some incoming mitigations, verbally agreed but they are being transacted for next month that will cover the CCG and deliver its control total for the financial year.
“So, it’s a lot more of a positive perspective.”