Quarter of CCGs set to miss 1% surplus target

Almost 50 CCGs are set to miss the NHS's financial target of being at least 1% in surplus this year, and 18 CCGs are forecast to be in deficit at year end, the House of Commons health select committee has been told.

Funding: CCGs struggling financially
Funding: CCGs struggling financially

NHS chief financial officer Paul Baumann told the committee’s hearing on public expenditure on health and social care that despite these figures, he expected financial balance to be achieved across all 211 CCGs in England.

NHS chief executive Simon Stevens told the committee on Tuesday that voluntary decisions by CCGs and local authorities to pool their budgets had meant that the total current budget for integrating health and social care would be ‘quite a bit higher’ than the £3.8bn provided by the Better Care Fund.

Mr Stevens said NHS England would be looking at how the more than £4bn of savings sitting on foundation trust balance sheets could be used to invest in infrastructure following the publication of the Five year forward view plan for NHS services.

Looking for innovation

Asked how NHS England and other central bodies would ensure the new models of care outlined in the forward view would be developed, Mr Stevens said: ‘The reality is that because the pressures are there people know that doing more of the same is increasingly difficult so people are already looking for new ways that innovation can happen.

‘The question is not whether people are motivated but it is about enablers and getting rid of barriers.

'Some national rules could be brought to bear, but we are envisaging shared dialogue between national NHS bodies and local players. We had a look at it this summer with some drafts. There is a hunger across the health service for this sort of conversation.

‘We have got to ask where we need to kick-start service transformation, is there a case for freeing up money from day-to-day running to get over double running costs of the new models.’

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