NHS England has expressed “significant concerns” over the financial future of an inadequate clinical commissioning group, which is set to end 2016-17 with a deficit of over £60m.

Kernow CCG, which was rated inadequate last year and is under legal directions, reported that its deficit grew to £61.5m in the final weeks of the year. This is equivalent to 8.4 per cent of the CCG’s allocation in 2016-17.

In February, the CCG hoped to record a £53.7m deficit, but recent board papers reveal that leaders have been unable to address £7.8m worth of “unmitigated net risk”, which emerged following a review with NHS England.

Pressures in acute activity, prescribing, continuing healthcare, and out of county mental health placements are cited as the main reasons for the financial problems, according to March board papers.

The CCG is also £16.6m behind its QIPP plan, much of which relates to underperformance in Right Care schemes. Its total QIPP target for 2016-17 was £41.5m.

The board papers reveal say the CCG “will be subject to significant interest and review from NHS England” because of the scale of the challenge it faces.

The CCG, which was rated as inadequate last July, is waiting to have its financial plan for 2017-18 signed off by NHS England.

The national body previously told the CCG to reduce its projected deficit for 2017-18 from £37.6m to £19.9m before the plan could be agreed.

The successful delivery of next year’s plan will require £29.6m of overall net savings.

A spokesperson for NHS Kernow CCG said: “We are moving through a significant period of recovery and improvement, and this is recognised and supported by NHS England locally. We have moved from delivering 1 per cent QIPP in 2015-16 to 3 per cent in 2016-17 to a planned 3.9 per cent in 2017-18.

 “We are already making significant improvements and savings across our processes for commissioning individual packages of care and have reduced spend here significantly.

”Also, our prescribing team has worked on a number of successful schemes to improve patient safety and reduce costs. Since April 2016 the team has achieved measured savings of £2.3 million, but in terms of budget savings it has reduced its overspend from £7million to £1.5million.”