• Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire only CCG to make significant reforecast in its mid-year reporting
  • Says higher than expected continuing healthcare costs are to blame for deterioration
  • Dozens more CCGs have missed their mid-year plans, but maintained their year-end forecast

A large clinical commissioning group has admitted it will miss its financial plan by around £13m, due to higher than expected spending on continuing healthcare costs.

Mid-year performance figures published by NHS England showed Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCG has formally updated its year-end forecast to a deficit of £25m, against its planned deficit of £12m.

Its most recent governing body papers said continuing healthcare costs were driving the overspend.

The CCG told HSJ the number of complex continuing healthcare cases increased by 36 per cent during the 18 months to September 2019, and accounted for £11m of the forecast variance. It said the remainder was accounted for by higher than planned price increases for certain drugs.

Continuing healthcare refers to care given to people in a social care setting, but which is eligible for NHS funding.

A CCG spokesman said: “We submitted a challenging financial plan for 2019-20 which, while deliverable, had very limited contingency and therefore a higher level of risk from unanticipated cost pressures.

“During quarters 1 and 2 we identified a significant and unanticipated increase in costs associated with continuing healthcare. We have a statutory duty to meet these costs and they account for the vast majority of the variance in our year-end forecast.”

The figures were part of NHSE’s month six finance performance report, which said CCGs had overspent against their combined mid-year plans by £152m. However, BNSSG was the only CCG to make a significant change to its year-end forecast.

Coventry and Warwickshire missed its mid-year plan by more than £11m, while Wirral was £10m short.

In total, 51 CCGs fell short of their mid-year planned position.