• Crawley CCG and Horsham and Mid Sussex CCG revise deficit forecasts
  • NHS England legal directions include producing a financial recovery plan
  • Accountable officer says “challenge we face is significant”

Two clinical commissioning groups in Sussex have been given legal directions after their forecast deficits increased by millions of pounds after just seven months of the financial year.

Crawley CCG and Horsham and Mid Sussex CCG had originally agreed full year deficits of £4.1m and £13m respectively with NHS England. However, within five months it was apparent that they had significant unmitigated risks.

The CCGs confirmed yesterday that the forecasts had been significantly revised.

A statement said: “The CCGs have reported at month seven a forecast deficit of £7m for Crawley and £27m for Horsham and Mid Sussex reflecting the crystallisation of risks previously reported. The CCGs continue to work with NHS England to mitigate these deficits as far as possible.”

The forecast represents 10 per cent of turnover for Horsham and Mid Sussex and 4 per cent for Crawley.

Both CCGs were rated inadequate in NHS England’s annual assessment for 2016-17 and agreed to appoint a turnaround director, and to carry out a review of capability and capacity. The legal directions require them to produce a financial recovery plan.

Earlier this month, the CCGs, together with High Weald Lewes Havens and Brighton and Hove CCGs, announced they would form the Central Sussex Commissioning Alliance in January and share an accountable officer – Adam Doyle from Brighton and Hove CCG.

Geraldine Hoban, the current accountable officer for Crawley and Horsham and Mid Sussex, said: “The challenge we face is significant. In the long term, the change we need to see lies in a health system where there is a greater emphasis on helping to keep people well and providing care at home and in the community, relieving the pressures on our hospitals. The East Surrey and Sussex sustainability and transformation partnership that we are involved with along with our partners will be a key part of that.”

The CCGs said they were already working on a “robust” plan to return to full recovery before being placed in directions.