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NHS England to appoint new management team after CCG racks up £43m deficit



The CCG which ‘donated’ its GPs’ earnings to plug its deficit will have a new management team appointed by NHS England after identifying a total deficit of £43.2 million.

NHS Bedfordshire CCG was forecasting a total deficit of around £30 million last November but further analysis of their accounts re-estimated 2013/14 deficits of £12.7 million and a final 2014/15 deficit of £30.5 million.

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 vetoing board appointments.

It has also put an additional £31m on top of its £440 million budget to continue operations.

This comes after Pulse reported that the CCG used £460,000 of funding earned by practices through prescribing incentive schemes to plug its deficit, despite many practices already earmarking the funding for schemes to improve patient safety.

The CCG said that the accounts analysis showed up ‘fundamental weaknesses’ in its operations and an ‘unacceptable’ financial position.

Its management team have all resigned in the past few months, and NHS England has imposed legal directions to ensure it can veto any appointment.

The CCG says it has adopted a ‘no stone unturned’ model of financial recovery, after blaming GPs’ variation in QIPP savings for the deficit.

Its current accountable officer Nick Robinson said: ‘Detailed analysis of our accounts has revealed fundamental weaknesses in the way we operate as healthcare commissioners, which we must put right if we are to commission sustainable health services for local people.

‘We are also fortunate as a CCG in that we have received a major boost in our funding for the current financial year (2015/16), which gives us an extra £31m to spend on Bedfordshire patients and will help to fund increasing demand.’

GPC negotiator and commissioning lead Dr Beth McCarron-Nash, told Pulse: ‘I think we’re going to see this more and more, because you cannot square this circle anymore.

‘With the deficits that are happening, certainly in secondary care are having an impact on CCG spending, which means they can’t invest in primary care – which is where they need to invest to save. I think it’s only going to get worse before it gets better.’