20. June 2012 15:53
The failure to reduce the cost of acute care is threatening the development of clinical commissioning groups and may lead to disastrous PCT cuts, the General Practitioners Committee (GPC) has warned.
PCTs are struggling to achieve savings via the QIPP agenda which may result in budget deficits being inherited by CCGs in April next year.
Board papers from a number of PCT clusters show that acute costs are currently spiralling out of control at a time when the NHS aims to make £20bn of efficiency savings.
In NHS Bedfordshire Cluster, acute and specialist care costs were £11.2m over budget. Overspending was also recorded at the Arden Cluster in Warwickshire and by the NHS Greater Manchester Cluster – which was deemed “totally unacceptable” in the board’s minutes.
Meanwhile at England’s largest Primary Care Trust NHS North Yorkshire and York, a £19 million deficit for this financial year will be passed on to the CCGs which will take over responsibility in the region next year.
Dr Chaand Nagpaul (pictured), GPC negotiator, said that short-term savings by PCTs are increasing future costs inherited by CCGs. “The whole rationale of (cutting) secondary care costs depends on a primary care infrastructure to absorb care in the community,” he said. “It would be illogical, counterproductive and damaging to cut primary care.”