• East of England region facing overall deficit of £76m 
  • Organisations within Cambridge and Peterborough STP reject their control totals 
  • Other STPs in region to contribute £5m each to help balance books

Five sustainability and transformation partnerships in the east of England have been asked to bail out a neighbour facing a major deficit.

NHS England and NHS Improvement East of England has called on STP areas which have accepted their control totals to help balance the books elsewhere. The region is facing an overall deficit of £76m.

Cambridge and Peterborough STP is predicting a deficit of £192m for 2019-20, with the three acute trusts and clinical commissioning group in the area not accepting their control totals. 

In a letter seen by HSJ, regional director for NHSE&I East of England Ann Radmore asked the remaining five STP areas to “carry a contribution to the Cambridge and Peterborough position”.

NHSE&I has since confirmed each of the STPs and integrated care system areas have agreed to contribute around £5m each, which will be repaid within three years.

NHSE&I also asked for the STP and ICS areas’ support in taking further actions to help reduce the regional deficit.

These include agreeing a “revised position and improvement” with Cambridge and Peterborough, which will focus on cost and quality improvement plans and looking for workforce opportunities.

Ms Radmore stated: “These steps will reduce the regional deficit position and in order to balance this position I need to ask each of the other STP areas to carry a contribution to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough position.

“This will be a repayable contribution and I have indicated to the STP that this will have to be repaid within three years and I do recognise that this will be a significant pressure for all other systems.”

NHSE&I is also developing a programme across the east of England which aims to improve productivity and “explore opportunities to make greater efficiency savings”.

While details of the programme are still being developed, NHSE&I said it will involve embracing technology, delivering new models of care and benchmarking performance against high performing systems.

This will include the NHS RightCare, the Model Hospital and the Getting it Right First Time programmes.

In a statement, Ms Radmore added: “We expect every NHS organisation to live within their means, and the benefit of taking a joined-up regional approach is that we can tackle the issues together.”