PCT plans £600,000 enhanced services cutback to tackle deficit

A debt-ridden PCT is looking to make £600,000 cuts to local enhanced services (LESs) as part of a raft of measures to cut costs.

Dr Richard Vautrey: this is a significant cut for practices

NHS North Yorkshire and York, which is currently £23.9m in deficit, is now aiming to end the financial year with a £19m of deficit. This new figure has been agreed with the DH.

The nine proposals include the ‘potential cessation of primary care enhanced service payments’, which it predicts could save £600,000. The PCT commissions 11 LESs and five national enhanced services (NESs) from its practices.

GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey said the PCT had threatened to remove funding from PMS practices, but that this measure had not been approved by its board.

He said: ‘This is a significant cut to practices in North Yorkshire and will impact on the services they can offer to their patients. It could mean patients are no longer able to get minor surgical procedures done or be part of the national health check programme being promoted by the government in England. At a time when practice expenses are at a historic high, any cut in resources could have a major impact on the ability of practices to maintain high standards of care.’

Dr Vautrey said the four clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in the PCT area - NHS Harrogate and Rural District, NHS Vale of York, NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby and NHS Scarborough and Ryedale – will find it difficult to re-establish the enhanced services once the funding has been cut.

He said: ‘CCGs will have a responsibility to commission enhanced services but if the PCT has already cut them that will leave the incoming CCG on the back foot from the start with little money to work with.’

The PCT’s chief executive, Chris Long, said: ‘In June we made it very clear that we would have to work hard to ensure the deficit did not exceed £19m.

‘We are still committed to achieving this. However, unfortunately we have seen the potential deficit rise significantly due largely to higher than anticipated demand for hospital services. This means we must now take urgent action to stop the deficit from escalating any further.

‘In order to ensure we can continue to provide essential services to everyone in North Yorkshire and York, we must make some difficult decisions about the services we provide both this year and into the next.

‘We have been working closely with CCGs in the area to agree these plans which, while making the necessary savings, will ensure we maintain the expected quality of patient care.’

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