Healthcare commissioners in Southport and Formby have improved their annual performance score in the latest national assessment of clinical commissioning groups (CCG) carried out by NHS England.
Dr Rob Caudwell, chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said:
“We are pleased to see our progress and hard work recognised in NHS England’s latest assessment. However, the results do reflect the challenging financial environment we are operating in and we know there is a great deal more we need to do to make the improvements we and our patients want to see.
“We are working hard to address these challenges and alongside this we are continuing to speak with our residents and partners about how we can make services more efficient and effective for our patients in such a financially demanding time.”
NHS England’s assessment highlighted areas of good practice including meeting or exceeding performance for the majority of standards set out in the NHS Constitution, as well as achieving a good overall assessment for cancer services. However, key areas of challenge focused on the CCG’s financial position and the performance of urgent care services.
“Demand for services is increasing, as is the cost of those services. Coupled to this, we have a higher than average number of older residents with complex health needs and our budget has not increased in real terms.”
Nearly 28% of the population over the age of 65 compared to around 18% nationally, with this expected to grow further over the next decade. Whilst the CCG received 2% more money this year, the increase was much less than the national average of 2.14%. Coupled with increased local pressures and inflation rates, the CCG saw no real terms growth in its budget allocation.
“We have set ourselves a savings target of £20 million this year to meet our duties, so like all other public services this will mean we have some difficult decisions to make in the months ahead and the views of our local residents are vital in moving this work forward. We are already working hard on our improvement plans and feel that there are opportunities where we can make quality changes at the same time as achieving savings. Our repeat prescription ordering scheme is one example of how we are doing this.”
Keen to involve residents in its plans, NHS Southport and Formby CCG discussed some of these challenges at its recent public Big Chat event. The CCG updated attendees on how their views from earlier Big Chats have fed into its work to make services more efficient. People were then asked for views about what more the CCG can do to safeguard quality care into the future and at the same time make savings to ensure it continues to spend its budget wisely.
“We know that services need to change the way they operate if they are to remain effective and efficient, so they can continue to meet the needs of our residents into the future. Our Shaping Sefton programme focuses on how, working together with our partners, we can better join up services across health and care to address this.
“It’s more important than ever that we prioritise the money we are allocated effectively, to ensure that all our patients have continued access to high quality, essential health services when they need them and that effectively address priority areas of health including cancer, dementia and mental health.”
You can find out more about Big Chat 8 from the NHS Southport and Formby CCG website www.southportandformbyccg.nhs.uk
More information about NHS England’s annual assurance review can be found on the NHS England https://www.england.nhs.uk/publication/ccg-annual-assessment-201617/ and My NHS https://www.nhs.uk/Service-Search/performance/search websites.