Almost one in five CCGs expect to overspend their budgets next year, the highest total ever recorded by the King’s Fund quarterly monitoring report.
The think tank’s monitoring exercise asks 42 CCG finance leads responsible for 47 CCGs to report on the financial outlook for their local health economy each quarter.
Its May report found that just over 19% of CCG finance leads forecast a deficit by the end of 2016/17.
GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey said the NHS funding crisis must not mean cuts for general practice, and he said an increasing number of CCGs would end up with deficits unless the Treasury agreed to match EU healthcare funding levels.
‘CCGs must not do what they and their predecessors have always done, which is to bail out hospitals at the expense of general practice,’ he said.
‘Cutting practice funding further would be a disaster and such a policy risks fracturing the foundation on which the NHS is built.’
The latest King’s Fund quarterly monitoring report also found that more than half of CCG finance directors were either very or fairly pessimistic about achieving financial balance in 2017/18.