HEALTH chiefs will need to make further cuts of more than £1.3 million if they are to break even this year.

The increasing number of people visiting A&E is said to be adding to the financial pressure faced by health services in Bolton.

Commissioners in charge of allocating money for services must save £4.7 million this financial year if they are to invest in community services.

Yet new figures show cost-cutting measures introduced last year are not on track to hit the savings target.

“Over optimistic” savings predictions and rising emergency hospital admissions are to blame for the gap, say health chiefs.

Su Long, chief officer at the NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), added: “The schemes we had planned at the beginning of the year have not delivered fast enough for several reasons.

“Some of the projected savings were based on national projects in other areas of the country. However the local tariffs in the area do not match those nationally, therefore not making the same savings.

“Emergency admissions have been going up in Bolton in line with the national trend and this has had an impact on our savings too.

"Bolton CCG is working with the hospital to find what groups of people are going to A&E and why the numbers are going up.”

The CCG set up the Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) plan to improve the quality of health care in Bolton and save money.

The latest QIPP trajectories show a £1.390 million gap in the savings plan — meaning the CCG could have to make further cuts.

But the CCG says it is still on track financially and is already working on new saving schemes.

Bolton CCG has also been granted £1.8 million in “resilience funding” to prepare for winter pressures at the hospital.