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19 CCGs ended up in deficit in 2014/15

NHS England has admitted that 19 CCGs ended up in with deficits in the 2014/15 financial year.

Speaking at NHS England’s board meeting today, chief financial officer Paul Baumann said that ‘recovery plans have been discussed and are now in place’ for those CCGs.

Individual CCG performance varied considerably, with the 10 CCGs who spent the least delivering a combined underspend of £155m, while the 10 CCGs who spent the most delivered a combined overspend of £171m.

Overall, across the 211 CCGs, there was a small underspend of £151m. However, there was a ‘slight overspend’ in the CCG sector in total if the deferral of liabilities to future years is stripped away, Mr Baumann said, despite concerted efforts to control spending.

Ed Smith, chair of NHS England’s Audit Commission, said: ‘CCGs are quite thinly stretched in terms of their oversight and governance, we need to watch that.’

This follows the news that NHS Bedfordshire CCG is currently running a £43m deficit.

As a result, NHS England has been forced to step in and impose a series of legal measures, such as implementing a financial recovery plan and overseeing board appointments.