NHS commissioning group forecasts £3.8m deficit

Janet Probert, chief officer at NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group.

NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group has admitted it is “experiencing significant financial challenges”.

The CCG, which runs local NHS services in the district, has issued a statement warning that it will overspend by £3.8m in the year ending March 2018.

The CCG says it will now have to make difficult decisions – but stresses that it is committed to ensuring that the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton is sustainable.

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CCG chief officer, Janet Probert said: “For the first time since its formation in 2013, the CCG is forecasting a deficit (overspending) for the year ending 31 March 2018 of £3.8million, with any deficit having to be paid back in future years.

“This deficit is mainly the result of an increase in patients being referred for planned care together with a general increase in the number of emergency hospital admissions.

“We have also seen an increase in the amount and cost of prescribing medication, specialist out of area inpatient mental health services and continuing healthcare.

“As the CCG is now spending more each year than the allocation it receives, it is imperative that we continue to work with our local GPs, population and other partners to identify the main priorities for our spending to ensure that we use our finite resource on the health services that make the most difference to our population.

“This is always a difficult challenge as more services become available along with new drugs and treatments. Our population in particular are also living much healthier lives for longer which is to be celebrated, but often means those patients need more support from the health service.

“As a CCG, we need to use the money we are allocated as fairly and carefully as possible across our whole population. We have a statutory duty to certain services are provided and these are urgent and emergency care, community services, planned hospital care, out of hours and in hours primary care, maternity and children’s services, mental health services and learning disability services.

“It will mean that we have to make some difficult decisions on some services; however we remain committed to the redevelopment of Whitby Hospital and the sustainability of the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton amongst other important programmes.”

Rishi Sunak MP said he wanted to get a better understanding of the challenge faced by the CCG.

The organisation purchases hospital and community health services on behalf of 144,000 North Yorkshire residents.

He said: “The CCG has a good record for managing the money it receives from Government to provide services in our area.

“I want to get the fullest understanding of the pressures it faces, which include an ageing but healthier population which needs more support and the difficulties of providing services over a sparsely-populated area.”

Mr Sunak welcomed the CCG’s commitment to the Friarage Hospital.

“The CCG says one of the drivers of this projected overspend is the increased number of emergency hospital admissions. That underlines the importance of providing those services at the Friarage.”

The CCG would like to hear any thoughts on other priorities for spending along with suggestions which may help the address the financial challenge. These can be emailed to hrwccg.feedback@nhs.net or sent in writing to Communications and Engagement, HRW CCG, Civic Centre, Stone Cross, Northallerton DL6 2UU.