Our in-debt hospital trust is forecast to reduce its end-of-year deficit by £5m.

Calderdale and Huddersfield Foundation Trust, which runs Huddersfield Royal Infirmary (HRI), is still expected to finish 2016/17 £16.1m in the red.

But hospitals chiefs have said there is a ‘major’ risk the trust will not achieve this improved end-of-year balance.

The £16.1m target is based on the trust receiving additional funding for improving its performance under a five-year agreement with NHS Improvement, formerly Monitor.

Calderdale and Huddersfield Foundation Trust (CHFT) will receive an extra £11.3m if it hits targets agreed in a contract with the health watchdog.

After CHFT fell into deficit for the first time last year – it ended 2015/16 £21m in the red – the trust was ordered to draft a five-year ‘sustainability and transformation’ plan with NHS Improvement.

CHFT Finance Director Keith Griffiths said securing the funding was ‘intrinsic’ to ending 2016/17 at £16.1m deficit.

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In his report to hospital chiefs Mr Griffiths said: “The year-end forecast position at this early stage is to deliver the planned £16.1m deficit.

“In addition, it continues to be assumed that the trust will achieve the necessary conditions to secure the £11.3m Sustainability and Transformation Funding which is intrinsic to delivery of the planned deficit.”

But to reduce its deficit to the amount predicted the trust must also save £14m via a ‘cost improvement programme’.

Keith Griffiths, director of finance at Calderdale and Huddersfield Foundation Trust

CHFT must reduce its agency spend but the trust is struggling to recruit and retain doctors and nurses. Last month it spent over £20m on agency staff.

And to achieve the £16.1m deficit the trust must implement an electronic patient records system.

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But CHFT bosses have said there is a ‘major’ risk that the trust will achieve neither its goals nor its forecast end-of-year balance.

A report presented to the CHFT board said: “There is a risk that the trust fails to achieve its financial plans for 2016/17 due to clinical activity and therefore income being below planned levels; income shortfall due to contract sanctions (or) penalties based on performance measures; non-receipt of sustainability and transformation funding due to performance; failure to deliver cost improvements; expenditure in excess of budgeted levels; agency expenditure and premia in excess of planned and Monitor ceiling level.”