An increase in the numbers of people attending accident and emergency departments and the approval of a new drug to treat an eye condition have led to an overspend in Wiltshire’s health budget.

Figures up to the end of October show that Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group, which is operating in shadow form alongside NHS Wiltshire until the latter is abolished next April, currently has an overspend of  £1.89million.

A board meeting of NHS Wiltshire was told its budgets for accident and emergency activity at Great Western Hospital in Swindon, the Royal United Hospital in Bath and Salisbury District Hospital were all overspent due to increased numbers of patients attending.

The overspending amounts to £106,000 at GWH, £128,000 at RUH and a forecast of £250,000 above last year at SDH.

Since the National Institute for Clinical Excellence recently approved the use of the drug Lucentis to treat macular degeneration there has been an overspend of £252,000 at the RUH while activity at SDH has been at a much higher volume than forecast.

The out of hours GP service is overspent due to the CCG paying £27,000 towards covering the additional cost of the extra bank holiday to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

NHS Wiltshire’s board was told that a new drug price reduction may help drive down the cost on Lucentis.

Debbie Fielding, designate accountable officer at Wiltshire CCG, said the CCG had met with the hospitals on a long term project to provide more services in the community.

Despite the overspending in the county’s budget, Dominic Tkaczyk, interim director of finance at NHS Wiltshire, said the organisation was confident of finishing the financial year with a surplus of £2 million.