Local NHS set to balance the books this year

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Efforts to balance the books in the local NHS are paying off as the Hastings and Rother CCG is set to achieve “in the black” finances this year.

The GP-led CCGs have spent the last two years working with partners to improve safety and quality in key NHS services and enhance the experience of patients. Alongside this, they have also been working to address a long history of financial problems through careful management of their resources and close partnership working under the East Sussex Better Together Programme.

As a result, both Hastings and Rother CCG and Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford CCG are set to end 2014/15 with a small financial surplus, and this is set to continue in 2015/16 with changes to the way NHS funding is awarded resulting in a more balanced future picture in East Sussex.

Hastings and Rother CCG is set to end the year with an £8.1million surplus – around three per cent of its budget. Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford CCG is forecasting achieving a financial surplus of £2.98million for 2014/15 – around one per cent of its total budget. East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (ESHT) is also forecasting a small surplus of £88,000 for 2014/15.

Dr Roger Elias, chair of Hastings and Rother CCG, said, “Each of our CCGs has local priorities which we are addressing, such as the Hastings and Rother health inequality action plan and the piloting of new methods to help people manage long-term health conditions in Eastbourne.

“The transformation fund recognises that we also have joint responsibility to invest in and improve the many health and social care services that we commission jointly.

“This places us in a strong position to continue working with the public under East Sussex Better Together to make innovative improvements to services that really benefit local people.”

The improved financial performance this year has been achieved by working with local NHS providers to ensure maximum quality of care to patients and value for money, and includes some £15million in savings made in 2014/15.

The CCGs have set up a joint East Sussex Better Together Transformation Fund for surplus monies. This is intended as a long-term fund for CCGs to contribute to and draw from to meet CCG-specific and county-wide health investment needs.

Changes to the way NHS funding is allocated for 2015/16 will result in a more balanced picture next year. Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford CCG will receive an additional £12.7m, increasing its annual budget to £256.8m. Hastings and Rother CCG has been awarded an extra £3.5m (total £274.6m).

Cllr Keith Glazier, leader of East Sussex County Council, said, “This is excellent news and a significant step in the right direction as we work together through East Sussex Better Together to achieve a high quality and affordable local health and social care system. There is still a huge amount of hard work to do but for CCGs to establish a balanced financial position provides a good foundation for us reach our joint goals.”