THE health trust on the Isle of Wight is experiencing a 'signifcant cash flow problem', as it ends January in a deficit of £2.8 million.

A report, seen by the NHS trust board yesterday, said it would not be possible for the trust to meet its financial deficit target this year.

Instead, the trust is now on track to end the year with a deficit of £30 million.

Loans of £16 million have already been secured from the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC).

A request for a further £7.8 million is awaiting approval by the NHS and DHSC.

Director of finance and deputy chief executive at the trust, Darren Cattell, said: "We have had to rely on an awful lot of good will of our contractors."

However, Mr Cattell said the trust continued to prioritise the payment of Isle of Wight and small businesses.

Agency spend at the trust is almost double the recommended NHS ceiling, at £9.1 million, compared to £4.6 million.

A new contract for agency staff began in November and the trust said it had seen a 'price benefit' from this.

Winter pressures had also cost the trust £400,000.

The trust's 'use of resources' rating has remained scored at four — the worst scoring possible.