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BCCG reports Ā£43.2m deficit for 2014/15 and outlines strategy to eliminate debt

21 May 2015

At its Governing Body meeting today, BCCG announced a final end of year deficit for 2014/15 of £43.2m. The CCG also outlined initial proposals for taking the CCG out of deficit and returning it to a position where it can commission sustainable health services for Bedfordshire patients.

Accountable officer, Nick Robinson said: “The work we have carried out over the past few months, shows that the quality of the healthcare we commission is good and in many places excellent.

“We are also fortunate as a CCG in that we have received a major boost in our funding for the current financial year - 2015/16 which gives us an extra £30m to spend on Bedfordshire patients and will help to fund increasing demand.

“However, detailed analysis of our accounts has revealed fundamental weaknesses in the way we operate as healthcare commissioners, which we must put right if we are to commission sustainable health services for local people.

“This is about becoming a more efficient and effective organisation; it is not about cutting services in Bedfordshire. We continue to be a clinical commissioning group and any changes to the services we commission will be clinically-led.

“Change won’t happen overnight but by the autumn we must be working in a very different way.”

BCCG has identified six areas of the organisation that need significantly strengthening. These are: leadership skills, business intelligence and data gathering, governance processes, strategy and planning, financial controls and performance management of its staff and healthcare providers.

The clinical commissioning group has already begun to address most of these issues. It has:

  • taken on considerable leadership expertise appointing a full-time, interim accountable officer and chief finance officer
  • strengthened its Governing Body with an additional non-executive director with extensive financial expertise
  • developed the Governing Body’s Finance Committee which now meets monthly to scrutinise the progress of the CCG’s recovery plan
  • bought in business intelligence and contract management support from NHS South, Central and West Commissioning Support Unit.

These activities have involved working closely with NHS England. To cement its involvement in BCCG’s improvement plans, NHS England has today announced that it has issued the CCG with ‘Directions’. A separate statement on what this involves is attached to this press release and is available from NHS England at [add link].

The CCG first reported that it was likely to record a large deficit in November 2014 and in the succeeding months it became clear that this deficit was far larger and more complex than originally believed. In particular, it emerged that not all of this deficit could be attributed to 2014/15 but should have been reported in the previous financial year.

As a result BCCG has restated its accounts for 2013/14. It is now recording a deficit of £12.7m for 2013/14 and a deficit of £30.5m for 2014/15, making a cumulative deficit of £43.2m.

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