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'More CCGs in deficit than expected'

'More CCGs in deficit than expected'


Forty-nine clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) performed less well financially in 2013/14 than originally planned. the government's official auditors have found.  

The National Audit Office (NAO) report, released today, shows that 12 CCGs had forecast a surplus but ended the year in deficit. 

Local auditors referred 19 CCGs in deficit to the Secretary of State for spending more than their authorised resource limit. 

NHS England underspent by £279 million compared with its original plan, but overspent by £377 million on specialised services, NAO found. 

Financial stress is also growing in NHS trusts and foundation trusts, the NAO has warned. 

At the end of June 2014, trusts were predicting a net deficit of £404 million by the end of the financial year, and foundation trusts a net deficit of £108 million. 

Initial plans had factored in a net deficit of £425 million for trusts and £20 million for foundation trusts. 

Trusts that were in surplus in 2013/14 were likely to have a lower surplus than in the previous financial year. The number of trusts and FTs in surplus fell from 222 in 2012/13 to 182 in 2013/14. 

Those in severe financial difficulty continue to rely on in-year cash support from the Department of Health, the NAO found.

In 2013/14, over £0.5 billion extra money was issued to 21 NHS trusts and 10 foundation trusts to ensure that organisations in difficulty have the cash they need to pay staff and creditors.

Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office said: “An increasing number of healthcare providers and commissioners are in financial difficulty. The growth trend for numbers of NHS trusts and foundation trusts in deficit is not sustainable. Until the Department can explain how it will work with bodies such as NHS England, Monitor and the NHS Trust Development Authority to address underlying financial pressures, quickly and without resorting to cash support, we cannot be confident that value for money will be achieved over the next five years.”


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