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Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES) has a growing population with increasingly complex health needs, which is placing unprecedented demands on all types of local health and care services.
As a result, our health budget is being stretched and we need to make savings. In 2017-18, the CCG avoided a financial deficit and delivered savings of £11.6m by working in new ways that encouraged innovation, greater collaboration between teams and a whole-organisation focus on our five ‘big ticket’ work programmes. You can read more about these programmes on pages 21-22 of our 2017-18 Annual Report.
In 2018/19 we need to save a further £6.2m to avoid a financial deficit.
We are also working closely with our GP practice members and partners across the local health and social care sector to transform primary and community services. Changes that are already happening include practices merging, and others working more closely together to share services and clinical expertise for the benefit of patients.
We continue to work with our partners and service providers to enable more people to be treated at home or close to home in the community, rather than in hospital. Our Early Home Visiting Service and Falls Rapid Response Team are just two examples of how we are successfully improving patient experience and outcomes, while generating savings and balancing the pressures GPs and the wider health sector are facing.
We are also encouraging people to exercise ‘self-care’ and take responsibility for keeping themselves fit and healthy. This year we have backed the Royal College of General Practitioners ‘3 Before GP’ campaign, which encourages people to speak to their pharmacist, use over-the-counter medications or visit the NHS Choices website before making an appointment to see their GP. This keeps GP services available for those who need them the most.
As part of our commitment to tackling obesity and smoking, we have made the decision that patients in B&NES who need non-urgent, routine surgery and who have a BMI (body mass index) of 30 or more or who smoke, will be supported to lose weight and/or quit smoking prior to their procedure.
Click on the tabs above to read more about our innovative projects as well as the more difficult decisions we have had to make this year about restricting access to non-urgent services to make essential savings.