FINANCE: Walsall Clinical Commissioning Group is predicting an overspend of almost £400,000 this financial year on its learning disability pooled fund with Walsall Council, largely because of high demand for inpatient beds.

Additional costs of £1.4m on domiciliary care were offset partly by an underspend in nursing care and additional funding from the CCG, but the cost of inpatient beds was much higher than anticipated.

Head of joint commissioning Andy Rust said a “whole system strategic review” had been undertaken to address the problems.

His report to the CCG governing body said the “budget pressure reflects a level of use at the Suttons Drive step-down rehabilitation unit in Birmingham”.

It added that use should decrease in 2015-16 with the implementation of a new patient pathway, “leading to reduced bed admissions and diversion to less expensive non-trust beds”.