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Telford health body overspends by more than £3 million

By Lisa O'Brien | Telford | Health | Published:

The organisation that buys health services for people in Telford and Wrekin is now more than £3 million in the red, a new report has revealed.

Finance bosses at Telford & Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group say there have been 'significant cost pressures' around emergency and A&E activity.

There have also been high costs relating to mental health services and ambulance conveyances have been above contract, a report to the CCG's governance board says.

The organisation has previously been able to balance its books, but its chief finance officer Jon Cooke warned that it is facing its 'most challenging year'.

The latest finance report, which is expected to be discussed by Telford & Wrekin CCG's board during a meeting on Tuesday, says the organisation has overspent on its budget by £3.4 million in the current financial year, up until July.

In the report, Laura Clare, deputy chief finance officer, says: "At month four the CCG is showing a year to date deficit of £3.4 million which demonstrates a deterioration of £1.3 million from month three.

"This translates into an increase in the forecast risk of £1.1 million.

"Significant cost pressures are being seen in the acute sector, particularly around emergency and A&E activity in our main acute provider.

"Musculoskeletal activity continues to over perform and ambulance conveyances are above contract although this has slowed down again at month four.

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Significant risk

"The rapid increase in costs and activity within the mental health area of continuing healthcare has deteriorated further in month four by a further £0.5m."

The report says the organisation also started the financial year with a gap of £4.9m in its Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) savings plan.

It continues: "Although a lot of work is under way to address this it is yet to achieve any in-year savings in relation to this target.

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"There is now a working assumption that £1m of this target will be delivered in year.

"There is significant risk to the delivery of a break even position and current potential mitigations do not cover the level of risk which is reported as £10m.

"We will continue to review and assess all forecast positions and to pursue options for reducing costs but there continues to be a very serious concern to the delivery of the CCG control total."

It comes as the organisation is preparing to be dissolved in favour of creating a single organisation for the whole of Shropshire from April next year.

Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin CCGs need to make cuts of 20 per cent to running costs to save £1.2 million.

Health bosses say the creation of a single body is to support the ambition of the NHS Long Term Plan.

However, the plans have been met with controversy.

Lisa O'Brien

By Lisa O'Brien
Senior Reporter - @lisaobrien_Star

Senior reporter based at Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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