THE East of England Ambulance Service is £900,000 over budget just one month into the financial year.

It is the sixth consecutive month the trust, which covers six counties including Essex, has recorded a loss.

Bosses have admitted they expect the gap to grow to as much as £11million by the end of 2013/14.

The overspend has been partially attributed to the reliance on private ambulances because the trust does not have enough vehicles.

A trust spokesman said: “As highlighted in our turnaround plan, we recognise we have become too reliant on the use of private and voluntary ambulance services, which has had wider implications for the trust.

“Neil Storey, director of emergency operations, is reviewing the use of private ambulances and the board agreed tackling the overspend early in the financial year was necessary to address any financial risks.”

The trust unveiled its 89-point “turnaround plan” last month in a bid to improve response times.

It plans to employ 351 medics and put an extra 25 ambulances on the road by March 2014.

The report said the financial performance for April was not good for the plan and there was a “high degree of risk” the delivery of the trust’s financial plans would fail.

Dr Geoff Harris, new trust chairman, told a meeting it needed to get safety, quality and money right.

The trust covers Essex, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.