One of the first clinical commissioning groups to run into financial problems finished last year in the black and is forecasting a surplus for 2015-16.

Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s turnaround in 2014-15 came despite overspends on both acute and primary care services.

The CCG is predicting a £6.9m surplus this year, having recorded a £1.5m surplus in 2014-15.

The 2014-15 outturn was an improvement on a £1m deficit forecast at the beginning of the year, and an improvement of more than £9m on the position forecast when current accountable officer David Smith took over.

Annual accounts show that the improvement came from:

  • Releasing contingency reserves worth £4.9m to cover overspends in primary and acute care;
  • An extra £1m income related to overseas patients;
  • Spending £1.5m less than expected on retrospective continuing healthcare claims.

In early 2014 the CCG, which is the fifth largest in the country, was facing two years of deficit, and was not predicting to meet its surplus targets until 2016-17. When current accountable officer David Smith took over, Oxfordshire was predicting a defict of £7.6m in 2014-15.

The commissioner had a significant overspend even before it formally launched in 2013, and in the final weeks of 2013-14 was heading for a £6.1m deficit. It only finished 2013-14 in the black after a series of last-minute adjustments, around two thirds of which were agreed with providers after the end of the financial year.