Berkshire West’s NHS body is set to overspend by £3 million this financial year.

Documents unveiled by Berkshire West clinical commissioning group's (CCG) governing board showed the body had a deficit of £1.1 million in January, but that figure was expected to rise by almost £2 million by the end of March.

Rebecca Clegg, Chief Finance Officer at Berkshire West CCG, said: “We had a really tough financial position going into the year.

“The way we’re reporting it to NHS England is that there are things we had no way of planning for when we submitted our original plan.”

Ms Clegg attributed a large chunk of the projected overspend to the cost of mental health placements commissioned by the authority.

According to CCG documents, the NHS body is set to spend more than £11.8 million on sending adults with mental health issues on placements to care homes, which represents an overspend of £2.7 million.

The financial report outlined that placement costs can be “very volatile”, but also showed a forecasted underspend on child mental health placements of £549,000.

Other predicted overspends include a £370,000 increase on ambulance services and £219,000 more than anticipated on high-cost drugs.

At a meeting of Berkshire West CCG representatives on Tuesday, March 12, Chief Officer Cathy Winfield told her colleagues that this coming year “has got to be the year the NHS becomes financially sustainable.”

Setting out the NHS’s long-term plan, Ms Winfield told health chiefs there is a focus on boosting out of hospital care by expanding neighbourhood teams, promoting self-care, funding social prescribers and more.

Other priorities included reducing pressure on emergency hospital services, delivering more personalised care through shared decision making and individual health budgets, and making greater use of technology such as doing video consultations and using the NHS app.

Plans were outlined to increase investment for adult mental health services, with a focus on improving access to provisions and expanding crisis services so that suicide rates continue to drop.

Better care for major health conditions is a target NHS bosses have also identified, with hopes for more people to be diagnosed with cancer earlier and plans to detect cardiovascular diseases in people quicker too.