DORSET County Hospital more than doubled its expected surplus in the last financial year, governors have been told.

Director of finance and resources Libby Walters told a meeting of the hospital governors that the final figures for the 2013/14 financial year showed a surplus of £1.5million, compared to a forecasted surplus of £700,000.

She said that the favourable position was the result of non-recurrent income being received from commissioners and the surplus cash would be invested into the capital programme for things like replacing equipment.

Mrs Walters said that, despite the strong end to the last financial year, due to the number of pressures the hospital faced it was currently forecasting a deficit of £900,000 for this financial year.

She said: “We ended last year strongly but looking forward we have some very significant financial challenges.”

Trust chairman Jeffrey Ellwood praised the hospital board for the work done to achieve the surplus last year and assured governors that everything possible would be done to ensure the planned £900,000 deficit for this year is reduced by as much as possible.

He said: “The board is committed to try and bring that £900,000 down to at least a break even for this year.”