THE Western Trust has spent almost £90 million within six months on Acute Services, leaving its directorate overspent by £6 million, according to the latest Financial Report.
The Performance Report for the end of September reveals that while the Trust had been thrown a lifeline meaning it did not have to proceed with controversial costcutting measures to reach a £12.5 million savings target, it is still projecting a year end deficit of £26.5 million.
The most up to date figures show that at the end of the first six months of this financial year, it was reporting a deficit of £9.2 million.
The Trust had budgeted for a spend of £83.8 million in Acute Services within the first six month period. Instead, it spent £89.5 million.
Money spent on addressing risk and governance issues in Emergency Departments as well as additional costs relating to medical locums and nursing pressures are a big problem for the Trust.
And while spend on agency, bank or overtime costs is a real issue across all of its directorates, it is not felt more so than in Acute Services.
Figures in the report show that £8.8 million was spent on cumulative agency expenditure for Acute Services in September alone.
This represented a 7.3 per cent increase on the previous month.
Based on the six month expenditure just for medical agency costs, the Trust projected it would spend £11 million on medical agency expenditure by the end of 2017/18, solely in Acute Services.
This would be a considerable increase from three years ago when it spent £7.1 million on medical agency expenditure for this directorate.
Reflecting on its current financial position, the Trust says: “Recovery plans are currently being discussed with service Directors at their accountability meetings.”
In the first six months of 2017/18 the Trust has spent £77.5 million on Primary and Older People’s Services -- £1.7 million more than its budget.
And Women and Children’s Services is overspent by £2.2 million. 
“The deficit is mainly as a result of pay and non-pay pressures within Looked After Children (LAC) services which has seen an increase in the numbers from 555 to 610 from April 2016 to September 2017,” says the Western Trust’s Financial Report.