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NHS England reveals CCG funding plan


2 January 2014

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NHS England will increase funding for NHS commissioners by £4 billion over the next two years. 
At the latest meeting, the board decided local health services will receive a funding increase to match inflation in 2014/15 and 2015/15 – increasing funding from £96 billion to £100 billion. Areas which are most underfunded and those with fast-growing populations will receive even more. 
The funding allocations for every clinical commissioning group (CCG) have now been published, utilising an updated funding formula. 

NHS England will increase funding for NHS commissioners by £4 billion over the next two years. 
At the latest meeting, the board decided local health services will receive a funding increase to match inflation in 2014/15 and 2015/15 – increasing funding from £96 billion to £100 billion. Areas which are most underfunded and those with fast-growing populations will receive even more. 
The funding allocations for every clinical commissioning group (CCG) have now been published, utilising an updated funding formula. 
NHS England wanted to update the formula in order to give more money to areas with high numbers of older people. The previous formula was weighted towards increased funding for areas with high levels of deprivation. 
Late last year researchers form Durham’s Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing warned this change could “widen the north-south divide by reducing NHS services in the north”. 
But NHS England believes the year-long review into funding allocations has provided a formula based on more accurate, detailed data which includes “a deprivation measure specifically aimed at tackling health inequalities”. 
Paul Baumann, NHS England chief financial officer said: “We must ensure funding is equitable and fair and we have used the review period to ensure that funding is based on up-to-date and detailed information and it takes into account the three main factors in healthcare needs: population growth, deprivation and the impact of an ageing population.
“What is clear is that doing nothing is not an option. Some areas have not had the funding per head that they need, particularly where population has grown quickly and funding has remained relatively static.  These areas are now at risk of not being able to provide the services needed by their population, so we need to tackle these differences in funding as a matter of urgency.” 
A tenth of the total available funding will now be based on a deprivation indicator to reflect “unmet need”. 
NHS Clinical Commissioners co-chair of the leadership Group of NHS Clinical Commissioners, said the decision was overall “positive news” for CCGs. 
However, she said: “NHS Clinical Commissioners calls on NHS England to look flexibly at where the resource for  the commissioning  of primary care sits so that CCGs do not see a reduction in their running cost allowance during a time when they are taking on more responsibility, not less.
"Not to do this would be short sighted and risks CCGs being impotent in delivering what they have been established to do in transforming care and improving health outcomes for their local populations."
Dr Charles Alessi, interim chair of NHS Clinical Commissioners, said: “CCGs must be sufficiently resourced to enable them to focus energies on service transformation and on realising the significant efficiency challenges expected of them.
"The reduction in running costs announced for 2015/16 will not help CCGs to achieve this."
A detailed list of CCG budget allocations is available to view on the NHS England website

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