Three east London clinical commissioning groups have been given legal directions by NHS England over finance and governance issues.
Barking and Dagenham CCG was ordered last week to undertake a governance review and “ensure that it operates within its annual budget for 2016-17 and subsequent years”. The CCG shares a management team with Havering and Redbridge CCGs.
Any new appointments to its executive team or the next tier of management must be signed off by NHS England.
The CCG must also abide by any decision made by NHS England about the appointment of new staff.
In a board paper submitted to a meeting of the governing body this week, chief officer Conor Burke said: “The CCGs [Barking and Dagenham, Havering, and Redbridge] have made good progress in recent weeks in developing the discussions on BHR’s financial challenges at an STP level.
“We have secured local agreement that the BHR CCGs can plan a £10.2m deficit for 2017-18 with the remaining CCGs in the STP balancing this off to the STP control total at aggregate level.
“This reduces the 2017-18 ask to a still very challenging £45m QIPP for the coming year.”
It was not clear at the time of publication whether the three CCGs were still planning a £10.2m deficit for 2017-18.
Barking and Dagenham is predicting a £10.7m deficit for 2016-17.
Barking and Dagenham CCG chair Waseem Mohi said in a report to the governing body: “We have been focussing our efforts on addressing the significant financial gap that we face for 2017-18 through developing a wide range of clinically owned project proposals. Some of these proposals include further developing some of the pathway work we began through the RTT recovery programme – moving treatment closer to patients and in lower cost settings.
“However, some of the proposals involve very difficult choices, including restricting some services and prescribed products to patients. These are not decisions that we take lightly as GPs and we will be engaging our GP members, patients and the public, and our partner colleagues to seek their views.”
However, NHS England have removed the legal directions from Havering CCG relating to its procurement of elective services at the North East London Treatment Centre.
A spokeswoman for NHS England London said: “In light of financial performance challenges faced by Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge CCGs, we have decided that the best approach at this time is to support them through the formal powers of direction.
“These directions will allow us to temporarily guide the CCG to bring about the financial balance needed.
“NHS England believes the use of powers of direction can enable the focus, direction and support required to secure the improvements required. This was demonstrated by the earlier directions on Havering CCG in relation to their commissioning of RTT which were lifted yesterday. We are confident this step will help to ensure local patients continue to receive high quality standards of care and while also supporting the CCGs to deliver financial balance.”
A spokesman for Barking and Dagenham CCG said: “We have already taken steps to further strengthen our planning, governance and delivery arrangements and the directions will allow us to draw on additional support from regulators to further develop and implement our financial savings plan in conjunction with local partners.
“We know that securing savings of nearly 6 per cent of our budget presents us with our most challenging year yet. We want to the secure the greatest health impact possible with our resources by adhering as closely as possible to the clinical evidence base. This will ensure, not only the best possible outcomes for our population and patients, but also that we achieve the best value for money from the services we commission.
“We remain committed to doing all we can to secure financial balance while maintaining high quality standards of care for local people.”
CCG board papers and statements