FINANCE: Oxfordshire clinical commissioning group has already committed all its non-recurrent funding for 2013-14 to address projected rises in acute activity.

The CCG’s May board papers say it is facing an “extremely challenging year”. Provider contract negotiations were also described as “challenging”.

The papers say Oxfordshire is the fourth lowest funded CCG in the country. “Our relatively small allocation comes at a time when acute trusts across the country have seen unprecedented pressures [on accident and emergency departments] and even larger rises in urgent admissions to hospital,” it states.

Commissioners are working with Oxford University Hospitals Trust to understand why acute activity is rising. A report is due in September, which is intended to help the CCG commission services to relieve pressure in time for winter.

To sign provider contracts the CCG “has had to commit all of its non-recurrent funding to address in year activity projections.”

A detailed investigation is also under way into the impact on acute activity of the introduction of the NHS 111 service.

It is currently thought that the “111 effect”, as it is known locally, contributed about one percentage point of a total eight per cent rise in A&E activity.