The report on the financial stability of NHS bodies concluded that the financial position of the NHS had worsened from 2012/13 to 2013/14, and that this trend was not sustainable.
During the past year, 49 CCGs’ financial performance was worse than they had originally planned, with 12 of these intending to produce a surplus but ending up in deficit.
But despite this, CCGs overall actually underspent by £101m against their spending plans during 2013/14.
Brent CCG had the biggest surplus, of £33.6m, and Croydon CCG had the largest deficit of £18.2m.
CCG deficits rising
The NAO report said 18 of England’s 211 CCGs were forecasting a deficit for the current financial year, with a further 30 planning to return a surplus of less than 1%.
Across the whole health service, NHS trusts were predicting a net deficit for this year of £404m, and foundation trusts were forecasting a deficit of £108m.
NAO auditor general, Amyas Morse, said that until the DH could work with NHS England, Monitor, and other bodies to address the underlying financial pressures in the health service, without resorting to cash support, he could not be confident that value for money would be achieved in the NHS over the next five years.