Several clinical commissioning groups in Yorkshire have complained of their budgets being unexpectedly cut, which they blame on more money is directed towards specialised commissioning.
NHS Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven Clinical Commissioning Group was told it would lose £9.4m from what it had expected to receive to reflect services now defined as specialist and commissioned through NHS England, rather than by CCGs.
A report to the CCG’s governing body last month said that “this deduction is expected to be from additional [specialised commissioning group] work on the Bradford and Leeds acute contracts but CCGs have not been provided with a breakdown of this deduction”.
The report said the “discovery causes potential financial risk to the SCG”.
Although work is planned to establish exact costs, financial risks for incorrectly allocated and deducted funds in 2013-14 are expected to be covered through a risk sharing or “cost neutrality” agreement with NHS England, the report suggests.
Meanwhile, a Bradford Districts CCG report said the list of what constitutes specialised services had “significantly increased with no real agreement across the NHS of the exact definition of the new service”.
This had delayed the signing of new contracts, it said.
Vale of York CCG has also higloghted the uncertainty caused by the specialised services issue as a risk for its financial plan in 2013-14. And Sheffield CCG, which has seen £41m deducted from its previously expected allocation, is working with its local area team to understand the effect.
NHS England told HSJ last month it would adjust CCGs’ allocations where there was a “clear case” that their budgets’ had been cut disproportionately in order to fund specialised commissioning. This issue has caused mounting anxiety for some CCGs.
A spokesperson for Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven; Bradford City; and Bradford Districts CCGs told HSJ: “We are still in discussion with NHS England over budgetary arrangements for specialised commissioning services. We are working towards a swift settlement that will not create a financial risk for any party and, to ensure this, we have agreed to jointly review the outcome of this process during the year.”
CCG board papers
March/ April 2013