(Date: 12 August 2016)
Shropshire’s health commissioners today confirmed they are committed to overcoming financial difficulties and to bringing their deficit under control.
They now want to start a conversation with patients about how they can achieve this while maintaining the safe standards of care that patients need.
Shropshire CCG is currently facing financial challenges. In 2015/16 there was a financial deficit of £14.5 million. That could potentially rise significantly by the end of 2016/17. The CCG was recently issued with “Directions” and is working with NHS England on financial recovery plan.
The CCG’s Governing Board met today and agreed to explore disinvesting in and decommissioning a number of services. Last month NHS England assessed the financial performance of all 209 CCGs in England. Shropshire was one of over 30 to be rated as “Inadequate”.
CCG Clinical Chair, Dr Julian Povey said: “While many CCGs have financial problems, we accept we are more challenged than most and that our performance has to be better than in the last 18 months.
“We are now working with NHS England to move forward and we accept that we cannot continue to spend money we do not have.
“We have to be clear that patient care comes first. But ultimately it will not benefit patients if finite NHS resources are used to commission services that are not performing as they should, do not deliver what is required, could be delivered at less cost or should be commissioned elsewhere.
“We now need to make changes in the way we deliver services, and need an open and honest conversation with our patients about how we do this. Living within our means does not have to mean compromising on patient care, but it does mean that things need to be done differently.”
Shropshire CCG was issued with Directions in April. At that point David Evans, Chief Officer with Telford & Wrekin CCG was appointed Interim Accountable Officer. The two CCGs now share a joint management team and recently appointed a Turnaround Director.
David Evans said: “I do believe we can turn this situation around in a controlled manner.. We will engage with our patient and also with our Primary Care members as they have a key role in helping the CCG improve its performance.”