The cash-strapped West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust is more than £4 million worse in debt than planned.

In its latest financial report, it emerged the trust’s deficit continues to grow despite more than £28 million of borrowing for the year to date.

A further loan of more than £35 million has been partly approved by the Department of Health.

The latest figures released show that as of month 10 in the financial year, West Herts was operating in a deficit of £16.3 million - £4.3 million worse than planned.

And the financial position presented to the West Herts board on Thursday takes into account £10 million of deficit funding from the Government.

The board was told the trust only has enough cash to cover its operating costs for one day - a failure to meet the 10 days required as good practice - despite several loans from the Department of Health amounting to a £28 million bailout.

Don Richards, the trust's chief financial officer, said the year end planned deficit of no more than £14 million would still be met.

He said: "At the start of the year, we produced a financial plan, predicting a deficit of no greater than £14 million by the end of the financial year.

"However, financial plans are always based on assumptions, some of which do not turn out as expected.

"The NHS requires us to continue to report our performance against the original plan, and, at this point in the financial year, we are currently £4.3 million more in deficit than our original plan said we would be.

"However, we are confident that our trajectory of actions will lead us to a final deficit figure of no greater than £14 million by the year end."

The trust has also failed to meet its savings target, reporting a shortfall in savings of £4.6 million for the year to date.

The hospitals, at Watford, St Albans and Hemel Hempstead, continue to be rated at the worst possible score for financial risk by the NHS Trust Development Authority.

A loan application made in December for £11.1 million towards the trust’s capital costs has been approved by the Department of Health, while request for another £22.7 million of temporary borrowing is being considered.

Mr Richards continued: "Last year, we developed plans for some investments in our buildings and equipment.

"The Department of Health supported our case and provided £11.1 million of additional funding, through the Trust Development Authority, to spend on capital projects over 2014/15 and 2015/16. This loan is repayable over 11 years."