Rising inflation and an expanding population is shrinking the value of funds being streamed into clinical commissioning groups, warns NHS Clinical Commissioners.
Despite a funding rise “on paper”, by 2019/20 what CCG are able to purchase will have diminished by £5.72 per person on average when compared to 2016/17, which equates £330 million in terms of the national CCG budget.
Added to which, CCGs also have to deal with growing direct and indirect pressures, such as demand for services and an ageing population, the group noted.
Before the snap general election the government had promised additional funding for the NHS; commissioning heads are now requesting that this be allocated into CCG budgets for the next two years.
However, they also stress that the extra money alone won’t be enough to alleviate the current pressures in the system, and that transformation of services and frameworks is needed in order to sufficiently meet changing population needs.
To that end, CCGs and their partners across health and care need: realism about what the NHS can deliver; support for local decision-making on how to allocate resources; and ring-fenced funding for transformation to ensure financial sustainability in the long term.
“CCGs have a lot of pressures on them over the next three years, among them rising demand and an ageing population with more complex needs. As our analysis shows, this is at a time where based on current plans the value of the CCG pound is shrinking,” said chair of the NHSCC Finance Forum, Andrew Pepper.
“Nevertheless clinical commissioners are ready and willing to meet these challenges and transform healthcare for the better,” he stressed.