GP warns hospital actions could put CCG budgets under strain

A clinical commissioning group (CCG) budget risks being put under strain after a local hospital blanket advertised a new service which has driven up demand, a leading GP has said.

Dr Stoate: CCGs across London are ‘all struggling to make the commissioning budgets work for this year.'
Dr Stoate: CCGs across London are ‘all struggling to make the commissioning budgets work for this year.'

Talking after an All Party Parliamentary Group oral evidence session on primary care, Dr Howard Stoate, Bexley clinical cabinet chairman of NHS South East London, raised concerns that a local hospital trust ‘put leaflets in every child’s school bag’ to advertise its new walk-in paediatrics assessment unit, which had been commissioned by his CCG.

Dr Stoate, who is also a former Labour MP, said this was not part of the contract with the trust and warned that it could put strain on the CCG’s budget.

Dr Stoate said: ‘What’s happening is that it is driving up demand and cost to the point where it is becoming unaffordable for us.

‘This is a really good service, but it is expensive and if used inappropriately it could be unaffordable.’

Dr Stoate said the hospitals must work in partnership with the CCGs to ensure ‘what it provides is in line with what the CCG wants it to provide’.

He said: ‘It is doing something effectively on its own without having run it past the commissioners to make sure it fits with our intentions that that we can actually afford it.

‘There is a risk of straining our budget and that is obviously something we have got to guard against. We need some real partnership working between the hospital and the CCG to ensure they don’t overstretch it’.  

It comes amid concerns that some CCGs will burst their commissioning budgets this financial year.

Dr Stoate said CCGs across London are ‘all struggling to make the commissioning budgets work for this year’.

He said: ‘We are all under pressure. We are certainly going to struggle to break even this year in Bexley, and others in London are in an even worse position. Some CCGs will burst their budgets.’

A South London Healthcare NHS Trust spokesman said: 'The Children and Young Person's Assessment Unit is a service which was fully consulted on publically and supported by an independent clinical review as part of a major service reconfiguration in outer south London.

'To date it has reduced admissions to A&E for children and has proved popular with local patients and there have been no issues at all about the quality of the service.

'The trust has a duty to make sure that its services are known to patients and advertises them appropriately, whether it is through flyers and leaflets or by spending money on direct advertising which we always seek to avoid. it is not unknown to be criticised for inadequately making patients aware of important local services and we are very keen to avoid that happening.'

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

LMCs demand renegotiation of COVID-19 enhanced service deal

LMCs demand renegotiation of COVID-19 enhanced service deal

LMCs have called for a renegotiation of funding for the COVID-19 vaccination enhanced...

LMCs demand ballot of profession on PCN DES ahead of next contract talks

LMCs demand ballot of profession on PCN DES ahead of next contract talks

LMCs have demanded a ballot of GPs on the primary care network (PCN) DES before BMA...

Lack of support left locums at physical and financial risk in pandemic, say LMCs

Lack of support left locums at physical and financial risk in pandemic, say LMCs

Locum GPs have faced significant physical and financial risk because of a lack of...

LMCs demand NHS England apology over ‘abhorrent' claims about general practice

LMCs demand NHS England apology over ‘abhorrent' claims about general practice

LMCs have called on NHS England to apologise for ‘abhorrent and insulting’ suggestions...

CCGs to be stripped of commissioning role under reforms backed by NHS England

CCGs to be stripped of commissioning role under reforms backed by NHS England

CCGs could be stripped of their commissioning role under plans set out by NHS England,...

Shielding advice updated to reflect return to tiered system on 2 December

Shielding advice updated to reflect return to tiered system on 2 December

The government has updated its guidance for patients on the shielding list to reflect...