£100m hole in health budget - Major ‘reforms’ planned for how services are provided in West Norfolk

Latest health news from the Lynn News, lynnnews.co.uk, @lynnnewscitizen on Twitter
Latest health news from the Lynn News, lynnnews.co.uk, @lynnnewscitizen on Twitter
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Health services in West Norfolk face a major crisis in the next decade with a £100 million financial black hole.

West Norfolk’s Clinical Commissioning Group is expecting a £50 million funding shortfall by 2021 with a similar amount faced by service providers, such as Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

The hospital, placed in special measures by Monitor last year, has an £11 million deficit.

A major reform of how services are provided was debated yesterday by the WNCCG’s governing body and at the Norfolk County Council health and scrutiny overview committee.

A report to the governing body has warned that the there will still be a “recurrent, increasing financial gap that has to be addressed at system level” despite planned efficiencies proposed by the CCG.

Over the next six months, the WNCCG will be meeting with other health and social groups to devise a blueprint for the reform.

WNCCG’s chief officer Dr Sue Crossman said the plans represented a positive opportunity to re-design and shape healthcare services in West Norfolk which would benefit patients now and in the coming years.

She said: “We will be involving the public at every stage of these plans to ensure we reflect the needs of local people and there will be various opportunities for patients, carers and the public to share their thoughts with us.

“We are already leading an alliance of providers and commissioners across health and social care, whose purpose is to deliver improved, integrated services for West Norfolk.

“We believe this approach has the opportunity to offer future national learning on the challenges facing local healthcare economies.”

The report to yesterday’s meeting highlights the pressures placed on West Norfolk’s health budgets. This includes £11 million from the CCG to fund social care from 2015 along with the county council’s £189 million savings over the next three years.

It states: “Longterm sustainability of the health economy in Lynn is only achievable through system reconfiguration and enhancing integrated care.”

Work has already started on this reform. The first phase has confirmed the CCG’s view that a system re-design is needed.

Funding for the next stage of this work has been requested from NHS England and a decision on this is expected this week.