A clinical commissioning group that is under legal directions is set to add £57m to its spiralling cumulative deficit in 2017-18.

Northern, Eastern, and Western Devon CCG – the largest group in the country – has forecast ending the financial year with a £178m cumulative deficit, accrued since its formation in 2013.

The £1.1bn budget CCG is subject to two national regulatory programmes – the Devon success regime, which excludes south Devon and Torbay, and the capped expenditure process.

At the start of 2017-18 the CCG was forecasting a £78m in-year deficit, but this has been revised to £57m through the CEP - which will take the CCG’s cumulative deficit to £178m.  

While the CEP aims to bring 14 health economies’ spending in line with budgets, the CCG said it would be monitored by NHS England against its £57m deficit plan.

No further version of the CCG’s finance plan is required for approval, the spokeswoman said. NHS England was approached for comment.

The CCG has recorded deficits every year since its inception, and finished 2016-17 with an in-year deficit of £42m, which took its cumulative deficit to £120.5m. 

Asked why the CCG is planning for a £57m in-year deficit this year, the spokeswoman said the main factors were:

  • the full-year effect of cost pressures materialising during 2016-17;
  • 2017-18 demographic growth; and
  • inflationary cost pressures above CCG growth allocation.

The CCG accounts for the bulk of the deficit planned by the wider Devon sustainability and transformation partnership, which for 2017-18 is £60.3m.

This year the STP is also aiming to deliver £144m worth of savings, which NEW Devon CCG is contributing £18.4m to.

The CCG’s savings programme is focused on continuing healthcare, prescribing, and individual patient placements. Most of the savings in the STP patch are expected to be achieved by the county’s trusts.

Meanwhile, the vision of developing a single strategic commissioner in Devon as part of the STP has moved closer after NEW Devon CCG and South Devon and Torbay CCG met this week and set up committees in common.

The intention is that the CCGs will remain statutory organisations but perform some of their duties through the committees.

Four committees have been set up covering audit, remuneration, quality and engagement, while a joint committee has been established for primary care joint commissioning.

Further work will be carried out to analyse how duplication between the CCGs can be erased by closer collaboration between their executive and finance committees.

The single strategic commissioner will form part of the county’s planned accountable care system, which will also comprise “place based accountable care delivery systems”, NEW Devon’s papers said.

Story updated at 2pm with background on the CCG’s previous deficits.