NHS chiefs in Derbyshire say that a “radical re-think” and “difficult decisions” are needed to address “significant” pressures – including a deficit of £80 million.
The four combined clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) which run NHS services across the county – Erewash; Hardwick; Northern Derbyshire; and Southern Derbyshire – have spoken out about the challenging situation they are facing.
As it stands, the services the CCGs provide will cost £80 million more this year than the annual budgets they are receiving – despite already making millions in savings.
This year the combined groups are seeking to make £51 million in cuts by “doing things more efficiently and with less waste”.
Some of the ways they hope to do this are by preventing people from getting ill in the first place; making sure patients only end up at a hospital as a last resort and make use of other care facilities closer to home; and to prescribe the most cost-effective drugs and treatments.
In a report which will be discussed at a meeting of the Southern Derbyshire CCG governing board on Friday, May 25, the Derbyshire CCGs wrote: “The financial challenge facing the Derbyshire CCG’s is significant.
“Local health and social care services have improved in recent years.
“We are living longer, waiting times are shorter, and treatments for cancer and heart disease (for example) are better than ever.
“We are rightly proud of our local services and the progress made.
“However, health and social care services locally, and nationally, face financial pressures and many hospitals and other organisations across the country are struggling to achieve their financial targets.
“There are a range of causes for this, including rising demand for care among the population as a whole and the fact that many patients now often have more complex health conditions, such as obesity and heart disease, which require more complex treatment.
“By getting organisations working closer together, by bringing care closer to home, by transforming services, by helping more people stay well and prevent ill health in the first place, we believe we can meet the challenge in the long term.
“In some cases it may require a radical re-think of why we do what we do. Using services wisely, pooling our resources, and looking to be innovative wherever possible, is the only way we’ll successfully meet the challenge that lies ahead.
“There are tough decisions ahead and we will need to review all that we do in order to ensure we are making best use of the public purse.”
Eddie Bisknell , Local Democracy Reporting Service