CCG’s Chair warns of financial pressures

Wed 18th March 2015

NHS North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the statutory health body responsible for planning and commissioning NHS healthcare and health outcomes for people living in North Tyneside, is warning of severe financial pressures for the local NHS annual budget.

The CCG, which has an annual budget of £288m, has warned that despite close monitoring and measures to manage financial pressures, it is forecasting a deficit of £6.4 million for this financial year. This represents around 2.3% of its overall annual budget, and follows a small surplus recorded in the previous financial year.

Dr John Matthews, a local GP and Chair of NHS North Tyneside CCG, said: “Last year we were very successful in managing a number of financial challenges, but this year we have faced even greater pressures due to increased numbers of patients receiving hospital-based care, and additional community-based care for complex health needs.

“Demand for services has increased year-round, and a particularly pressured winter saw a significant increase in urgent and hospital care for frail and older people. In short, demand for services has been outstripping the resources to pay for them.

“I’d like to reassure patients that we identified these pressures early and have already put clear plan in place to manage them. These changes will bring cost savings in a number of areas, but will take time to implement and are a longer term solution to the financial challenges faced by the health system in North Tyneside.

“We are confident that the budget will be balanced again and will keep the financial position constantly under review.

“We have worked to renegotiate a number of contracts to ensure value for money and a seamless transition for people moving between NHS-funded healthcare and social care, which is commissioned by local authorities.

“Another key step has been to develop new models of care to support our most frail patients in a focused and proactive way.”

The CCG is made up of 29 GP practices in the borough, including doctors, nurses and other health professionals, supported by experienced health service managers, and is responsible for planning, choosing and buying services, making sure they are responsive to the needs of local people.

The practices work together, alongside partners in North Tyneside Council, other NHS providers, the community and voluntary sectors, to improve the health of communities throughout North Tyneside.

Dr Matthews added: “We have identified a clear way forward, but this position highlights more than ever the need to reform some aspects of local NHS services, to develop more joined-up care for patients and free up finances.

“We are working with GP member practices and our partners in health and social care to manage the financial situation and ensure continued high quality care for the people of North Tyneside.

“But everyone can play their part by thinking carefully about using the right health service for their needs. That means treating common illnesses at home with advice from a local pharmacist, seeing your GP for the majority of health needs and only using A&E and 999 services for life threatening and emergency situations.”