Local authority cuts damaging NHS services, say CCGs

Local authority funding cuts are negatively affecting health service performance, local NHS finance leaders have said.

Funding: local authority cuts damaging NHS services
Funding: local authority cuts damaging NHS services

In a survey of 90 NHS trust finance directors and 50 from CCGs, 88% and 80% respectively agreed that funding pressures on councils were adversely affecting their local health economy.

John Appleby, chief economist at the King’s Fund think-tank, which carried out the survey for its quarterly monitoring report, said there was ‘clear evidence’ that cuts to social care budgets are affecting the NHS.

‘The government must use the spending review to protect the social care system from further cuts and reinvest the £6bn previously earmarked to implement the Dilnot reforms,' he said. The 2011 report by economist Andrew Dilnot reported on how to deliver fair, affordable and sustainable funding for social care.

NHS funding crisis

The latest report, said Mr Appleby, revealed the ‘financial crisis engulfing the NHS and social care’.

‘With winter approaching, the NHS faces a toxic mix of widespread deficits, rising waiting times and low morale,' he said.

The survey also found:

  • 18% of CCGs predict a budget overspend by the end of 2015/16.

  • 64% of providers predict  and 88% of acute trusts predict an overspend.

  • 58% of CCG finance leads said care has worsened in their area in the last year, while 37% of trust finance directors agree.

  • The proportion of patients receiving cancer treatment within 62 days of an urgent referral from their GP fell to a record low of 82 per cent in the first quarter of 2015/16, well below the 85 per cent target and the lowest since the target was introduced in 2009.

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