FINANCE: South Essex PCTs have a ‘QIPP challenge’ of over £43m in 2012-13 - and CCGs in the area will have to pool their risks as their small size means they may not have the flexibility to manage budget flexibilities.

The cluster board meeting heard that the headline figure was an ambition but a more realistic target would be £34.3m. But the scale of the challenge the newly-formed CCGs will face is obvious from the planned reductions in commissioning in the integrated plan.

In South West Essex acute spending is planned to reduce by five per cent by 2014-15, compared with 2010-11. The South East Essex target is 1 per cent.

This includes reductions of 29 per cent in first outpatient appointments in South West Essex and 23 per cent in emergency admissions of one day or less in South East Essex.

A reduction in inpatient mental health commissioning is planned. This will be offset by increased provision in the community.

The integrated plan also notes the four CCGs were above plan on acute spending - with Castlepoint, Rayleigh and Rochford CCG being 10.6 per cent above plan at the end 10 months of the last financial year.