Health bosses warn of ongoing budget pressure due to limited funding and older population

Hartlepool and Stockton Clinical Commissioning Group pays for local NHS services.Hartlepool and Stockton Clinical Commissioning Group pays for local NHS services.
Hartlepool and Stockton Clinical Commissioning Group pays for local NHS services.
Health chiefs say the financial pressures they face are likely to grow in the coming years.

Local NHS health commissioners say a growing elderly population and limited funding is set to continue.

Despite the pressures they face, Hartlepool and Stockton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) managed to break even in 2018-19.

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The CCG’s annual report for 2018/2019 sets out how it performed over the previous year and its aims and ambitions for the next year.

The CCG had a total annual budget of £475.4million in 2018/19 from NHS England.

The annual report stated: “Relevant costs amounted to £458.874 million, when combined with the position reported on running costs, this resulted in a total in-year breakeven position being delivered on all revenue budgets.”

It added: “The financial pressures facing the NHS are substantial and well documented, with the impact of an aging and growing population leading to significantly increased costs against a backdrop of limited financial resources.

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“Significant pressures continued to be evident during 2018/19, not only for the CCG but across the local health economy, and it is likely these pressures will continue to grow over the coming years.”

Potential savings will be sought over the coming year which the CCG said will be a ‘significant challenge’.

The report added: “There are significant opportunities available to reduce variation in services, both from a quality and financial perspective, and this will be the focus of much of the work in 2019/20 to ensure best use of the limited financial resources available.”

The CCG reflected on a positive year which saw it rated outstanding following an annual assessment published by NHS England.

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In 2018/19, the CCG met seven out of nine cancer waiting times targets.

And for the year, there was 3,907 avoidable emergency admissions per 100,000 head of population.

Dr Neil O’Brien, the CCG’s accountable officer, said in the report: “We are committed to creating an accessible health service that provides safe, high quality care in the best place for our patients and we are dedicated to developing effective working relationships with partners, stakeholders and the public to deliver more joined up healthcare that will benefit everyone.”

Read the full report here.