Updated mandate puts CCGs under strain

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Dr Charles Alessi web The future of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) looks uncertain as the Department of Health’s updated mandate to NHS England has not been fully ‘costed’.

The Health Department recently announced 20 changes and additions to the NHS mandate, including plans from NHS England to develop a plan for vulnerable elderly people.

This new mandate could translate into increased financial fears for CCGs if ‘tough’ new Government targets are expected to be met without any additional funding.

Commissioners have endorsed the changes but voiced concern that they would cause a high level of burden on, and disruption to, CCG organisations.

NHS Clinical Commissioners warned that new “overly prescriptive” targets would put severe financial pressure on CCGs, which have already been forced to deal with budgets cuts and reduced operating costs.

Charles Alessi (pictured), Chair of NHS Clinical Commissioners, said, “Our members have highlighted that many of the updates proposed in the refresh have not been costed for 2014–15 budgets and so pose serious financial risk to CCGs going forward.

“CCGs will be unsustainable if they are required to deliver a mandate that has an annual refresh without any costed plans.”

It has been suggested that the Department of Health must cost future proposals and if the mandate places any additional expectations on CCGs, the department must identify a viable source of funding.