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80% of CCGs concerned about achieving financial balance

More than four in five CCGs are concerned about achieving financial balance in their first year, a new survey has suggested.

The Primary Care Commissioning group surveyed 47 CCGs and found that financial issues in general were the areas of most concern, and especially worries over keeping in budget and maintaining financial balance.

The survey by the Department of Health advisory body also revealed that one in four CCGs were ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ concerned about their engagement with member practices.

The report, which was jointly produced with law firm Capsticks, revealed that 38% of CCGs were very or extremely concerned about achieving financial balance. This increased to more than 80% when including CCGs who were moderately concerned.

CCGs were equally worried about meeting their QIPP objectives, with more than 80% expressing concern and almost a third of all CCGs saying they were ‘extremely concerned’ about this.

One respondent told PCC that ‘we have no money’ while another said that the current financial problems ‘are nothing compared with the long-term challenge’.

Another said: ‘The £25 management resource limit is crippling and dangerous.’

Julian Patterson, director of marketing and communications at PCC, said: ‘The weight of responsibility and expectation on CCGs is enormous and there are naturally some anxieties particularly in the area of financial viability.

‘But in a system often criticised for complacency and lack of self-awareness, it is encouraging to see the frankness of many of the responses and the desire of CCGs to get to grips with the uncertainties they face. It’s the ones that aren’t worried that you probably need to worry about.’

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