FINANCE: The clinical commissioning group which has put up to £800m of older people’s services out to tender is reporting it faces a “significant financial challenge”.  

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG has reported a £787,000 year to date programme budget deficit, £1.1m behind a planned year to date surplus of £333,000. This was partially offset by an underspend on running costs, leaving the group with an overall deficit to date of £5,000, which was £338,000 worse than plan.  

The CCG’s finance report states it is still forecasting a £1m surplus for the financial year, but admits its situation is a “serious concern”.  

The report adds: “It is clear that the CCG faces a significant financial challenge in 2013-14 due a combination of factors a) pressure on acute contracts, prescribing and individual placements b) issues with respect to our baseline allocation [and] c) patchy delivery of planned savings.

“However, on a positive note it is still early enough in the year to take actions and there is sufficient time for these to make an impact.”  

The report outlines a series of additional measures aimed at making further savings, which will focus on “referrals, prescribing; contract challenges, clinical thresholds and reviewing all other areas of spend”.

The news comes just weeks after the CCG announced 10 bidders had cleared the first stage of its procurement process for integrated older people’s services worth up to £800m.

The purpose of the tender is to find one or more “lead providers” to provide and coordinate older people’s services across geographic and organisational boundaries.