£28 MILLION BLACK HOLE: Derbyshire health chiefs told to make big savings after ‘inadequate’ rating

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A key health body in north Derbyshire has been ordered to make savings of £28 million after being branded ‘inadequate’.

The North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – which is responsible for planning health services across the region – was given the news after failing a ‘capability and capacity’ review earlier this year.

The orders, which come from the chief executive of NHS Commissioning, Simon Stevens, state that the trust must also hire ‘turnaround directors’ and review their senior appointments.

A spokesman for North Derbyshire CCG said: “Due to the financial position we find ourselves in, we have been rated as inadequate overall and have subsequently been placed in legal directions.

“This means that NHS England will now work more closely with us to support us in delivering against our financial challenges.

“While this is disappointing for the CCG we are pleased that the assessment showed that our performance was strong in several areas, including a high number of GP services rated as ‘outstanding’.

“Moving forward we recognise that there is still more work to do to improve our financial resilience.

“We would like to reassure people that patient safety and providing the best possible patient experience as efficiently as possible are our absolute priorities.”

The CCG will now have to draft an improvement plan within a month, which must be implemented immediately after NHS England approval.

Within seven weeks, the CCG will also have to produce a ‘credible financial recovery plan’ that ensures the organisation can operate within its 2017-18 annual budgets.

Chesterfield’s MP, Toby Perkins, said: “It was deeply concerning to hear that North Derbyshire CCG had been hit with legal directions in regard to their financial and leadership performance.

“We are used to our health providers being praised around here, and so it is particularly worrying that NHS England refers to the deterioration of the financial position and the lack of credibility of the group’s financial plan.

“The proposals that the CCG are bringing forward will require huge savings that will impact on the drugs prescribed to patients and on hospital admissions.

“At a time when our acute hospital is facing significant financial pressures, our care regime is creaking and the promised additional funding for mental health has yet to appear, this is another cause for concern for patients locally and it is impossible to believe that the decisions of the health secretary aren’t at least partially responsible.”

The CCG’s statement in full

In July, every CCG in the country received their 2016/17 Improvement and Assessment Framework (IAF) rating from NHS England. These ratings are given on an annual basis and provide each CCG with a headline assessment that helps them measure their performance against the objectives and priorities as set out in NHS England’s Five Year Forward View.

The ratings are given as either outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate. Due to the financial position we find ourselves in, we have been rated as inadequate overall and have subsequently been placed in legal directions. These came into force on Monday 14 August 2017. This means that NHS England will now work more closely with us to support us in delivering against our financial challenges. While this is disappointing for the CCG we are pleased that the assessment showed that our performance was strong in several areas, including a high number of GP services rated as ‘outstanding’, Patient experience of GP services also continues to perform above the national average and in the highest quartile nationally. This is an achievement to be incredibly proud of and on behalf of everyone at the CCG we thank our practices for the excellent service they continue to provide.

Alongside the Improvement and Assessment Framework, additional assessments have been undertaken by three independent clinical panels for each of the priority areas set out in The Next Steps on the Five Year Forward View: cancer, mental health and dementia. As with the IAF rating, ratings are given as either outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate. We are pleased to report that we have achieved outstanding ratings for our work on mental health and dementia and acknowledge that improvement is required for our work on cancer.

Moving forward we recognise that there is still more work to do to improve our financial resilience. We are currently developing our capability and capacity improvement plan and working in conjunction with NHS England to develop our financial recovery plan; both will enable us to improve our financial position. We would like to reassure people that patient safety and providing the best possible patient experience as efficiently as possible are our absolute priorities. We will continue to build upon the areas of high performance which the recent report has identified whilst ensuring that we also improve our financial resilience. As we move forward we thank not only our staff for their continued effort and commitment but all health and care staff across Derbyshire who continue to work hard and do a great job supporting the health of our population.

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