A CCG has allocated all but £3.3m of its £658m budget – 0.5% – for this financial year with nine months still remaining, sparking fears that it may not be able to fund practices to provide extra services.
Oxfordshire CCG said that it has allocated the £654.7m on planned acute, community and health services as increases in the cost of emergency care had put it under pressure. Its chair insisted the CCG will not run out of money.
However, local GP leaders warned the lack of remaining budget would adversely affect GPs.
Dr Paul Roblin, chief executive of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxon LMC said the the CCG may not have enough left in its budget to pay practices for putting on extra services such as such oral glucose tolerance tests for gestational diabetes in pregnant women on the advice of midwives and phlebotomy.
He added: ‘We will be discussing this very issue with the CCG tomorrow. The LMC will be telling them that if they don’t want to buy these services they won’t get them.’
Increases in the costs of emergency care have put the CCG under pressure, its chief executive Stephen Richards told the BBC.
Dr Richards added that the CCG would not run short of money, but it will have to ‘live frugally’ and may have to reign in the number of knee and hip operations.
It plans to save £28.9 million over three years by cutting A&E admission rates by 10% and emergency operation rates by 15%.
A spokesperson for the CCG said: ‘Whilst year one is challenging, the CCG is well advanced with plans to deliver sustainable high quality health care.’
The CCG outlined its financial position to its governing body at a meeting at the end of last month.