Summary

The CCG has a budget of £257m for 2017/18.

We provide services for 199,660 patients registered with a B&NES GP.

£10.2m savings required by April 2018.

Less than two per cent of our budget is spent on management costs.

We spend over £2m on medicines every year.

Like much of the UK, Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES) has a growing and ageing population, which is causing a significant increase in the demand for all types of local health and care services. Our health budget for B&NES is being stretched and as a result, we need to make savings.

We have already made efficiencies of £1.4m towards this financial year, but we still need to make savings of £10.2m to avoid a deficit.

We are working with our GP practice members and partners across the local health and social care sector to transform primary and community services, so that more people can be treated at home, rather than in hospital.  This shift will bring substantial cost savings, as well as improvements to patient experience and outcome, but takes time to implement.

There are things we can all do to help make sure our NHS is fit for the future, and these include picking the right service when you need help, managing minor illnesses at home with support from your local pharmacist, cancelling any appointments you no longer need and staying as fit and healthy as possible.

For more information on our situation and how you can help, see our ‘Frequently asked questions’ page. You can also hear more about our plans and ways to get involved at our 2017 Annual General Meeting in July. To register to attend, click here or email Stacey Saunders at stacey.saunders@nhs.net.

 

 

Savings Plan Q&A

The CCG is responsible for buying and planning health services for the 199,660 patients who are registered with one of the 26 GP practices based in Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES).

Our organisation is made up of the 26 GP practices across B&NES. GPs and practice managers help to make sure health services are the best they can be, but they don’t do this alone. At the CCG there are other health care professionals, highly skilled managers and patient representatives who work with GPs to plan and deliver services. The CCG also works closely with health and care organisations in B&NES and across the South West region.

The CCG has an annual funding allocation of £257m in 2017/18 to pay for a range of services that includes acute and community services, mental health, maternity services and primary care.

We have an ageing and growing population in B&NES and more people than ever are being diagnosed with long-term and complicated conditions. This means the demand for local health and care services is rising faster than our budget. We are seeing this increased demand for services the whole year round but last winter was particularly pressured and there was a significant increase in urgent and hospital care for frail and older people.

We are working with our GP practices, the Council, Virgin Care and other partner organisations to transform primary care and community services. This means more people will be cared for in the community or at home, rather than in hospital.  We know people would prefer to be treated in a community setting rather than at hospital and this shift in how and where we deliver care will bring substantial cost savings but takes time to implement.

The CCG is allocated a budget for health services by NHS England and our funding allocation for 2017/18 is £257m.  There is a national funding formula that determines how much money we should receive for our population and this demonstrates that we are under-funded.  As costs and demand increase it becomes ever more difficult to manage this gap.  By the end of 2016/17 the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) had already made cost-efficiencies of £1.4m towards 2017/18 but still needs to make savings of £10.2m by the end of this financial year to avoid a deficit.

We have already taken steps to reduce inefficiency and waste and the CCG’s management costs represent only 1.75 per cent of our total budget.  We have also reduced the availability of gluten-free products on prescription for patients who have coeliac disease and access to a number of over the counter medicines on prescription.

We have a number of other schemes planned to help us contain costs.  For example we are continuing to review services that have minimal clinical benefit and making efficiencies such as switching patients on to different drugs that offer the same benefits but are cheaper.  We are seeking to minimise the impact on patients wherever possible but there are some difficult decisions ahead of us if we are to keep within our budget this year.

There are a number of ways you can help use your NHS better, so it is sustainable and fit for the future. These include:

  • Picking the right service when you need help. You can make a big difference by choosing the correct service for your needs and only using the Emergency Department and 999 for genuine emergencies.
  • Managing common minor illnesses yourself with the support of a community pharmacist. They are medicines experts and can advise on minor ailments.
  • Cancelling any appointments you no longer need. Missed appointments are a huge cost to the NHS. If you no longer need to see a doctor, let your practice or hospital know so that the appointment can be offered to another patient.
  • Staying as fit and well as possible, i.e. taking regular exercise and keeping your sugar and alcohol intake within the recommended amounts.

If you are interested in the NHS and the work we do to plan, buy and monitor services, you might like to:

  • Join our patient engagement group Your Health Your Voice. Please email comms@nhs.net for more information
  • Come along to our AGM on 27 July to hear more and have your say about our plans. You can register here.
  • Speak to your GP practice about joining its Practice Participation Group.