PERFORMANCE: Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s deficit spiralled to £43.2m by the end of 2014-15, the largest recorded of any CCG.

  • Bedfordshire CCG reported a £43.2m deficit by the end of 2014-15
  • The CCG has been issued with directions by NHS England
  • It said it was “consistently spending in excess of planned budgets”

The CCG, which has received directions from NHS England, revealed its financial position at its board meeting this afternoon. It had warned in March that its end of year deficit may be “up to £40m”.

It had predicted a £4.9m surplus at the start of started 2014-15, but by November its forecast deteriorated to a £24m deficit. In the following months the CCG realised the deficit would be “far larger and more complex than originally believed”.

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The CCG said it ‘did not properly recognise or take account of all costs incurred’ in 2013-14

In a statement, the CCG said it “did not properly recognise or take account of all costs incurred” in 2013-14, had been running an underlying deficit, and had been “consistently spending in excess of planned budgets”.

It has restated its accounts to record a £12.7m deficit for 2013-14 and a £30.5m deficit for 2014-15, resulting in a £43.2m cumulative deficit.

NHS England has stipulated that CCG appoints a permanent accountable officer, subject to its approval. Former part-time accountable officer Paul Hassan resigned in March, saying the body needs a “full-time accountable officer who can give the difficulties we face their full and undivided attention”.

NHS England also instructed that it should approve any other permanent appointment to the CCG’s senior management team.

The CCG must produce an improvement plan, subject to NHS England approval, which includes a financial recovery plan for how it will operate within its annual budget for the next three years, including a scheme for repayment of its outstanding debt, and a governance plan.

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.

“This is about becoming a more efficient and effective organisation; it is not about cutting services in Bedfordshire.”

He added: “Change won’t happen overnight but by the autumn we must be working in a very different way.”

He also pointed out that the CCG received a “major boost” in its funding for 2015-16, giving it an extra £30m “to fund increasing demand”.