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CCG leads concern over slashed running cost allowance


13 January 2014

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NHS England will cut clinical commissioning group (CCG) running cost allowance by 10% in 2015/16, bringing the total down to just £22.11 per head. 
The measures, revealed alongside the latest CCG allocations, have been hinted at by NHS England since at least June last year with CCG leads claiming it would lead to unsustainability. 
Speaking at a meeting, former MP and Bexley CCG chairman Dr Howard Stoate warned that CCGs were working on “extremely right running costs”. 

NHS England will cut clinical commissioning group (CCG) running cost allowance by 10% in 2015/16, bringing the total down to just £22.11 per head. 
The measures, revealed alongside the latest CCG allocations, have been hinted at by NHS England since at least June last year with CCG leads claiming it would lead to unsustainability. 
Speaking at a meeting, former MP and Bexley CCG chairman Dr Howard Stoate warned that CCGs were working on “extremely right running costs”. 
But the most recent cut sees administration costs slashed – although they will remain the same in 2014/15. 
An NHS England spokesperson told The Commissioning Review that changes had been made to the running cost allowance in order to invest more in patient care. 
The spokesperson said: “Our aim is to invest more on direct frontline care for patients and increase efficiency of administrative and non-frontline services.” 
However, the cut will only lead to insufficiently resourced CCGs, who will be unable to focus energy on service transformation, GP leader Dr Charles Alessi claims.
And Dr Steve Kell, director of policy for NHS Clinical Commissioners agreed. 
He said: “There is a concern that a reduction in running costs will prevent CCGs from achieving some of their goals.  
“Clinical commissioning is vital if the NHS is to succeed. CCGs, as well as allocations, need to be appropriately resourced.” 
The NHS England board paper states there are two options for reducing the administration resource budget in the future. 
Either the existing budget could be used as a baseline and adjusted by percentages – thereby breaking the link between population size and funding – or funding would remain linked to population size, while cutting the amount allocated. 
NHS England’s running costs will also by cut by 10% over the same period. 

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