CCG struggling with ‘ridiculously tight’ deadline

 NHS Croydon Clinical Commissioning Group is struggling to meet the NHS Commissioning Board’s (NHS CB) deadline for authorisation, its chair has admitted.

Dr Anthony Brzezicki said the December deadline set by the NHS CB was “ridiculously tight”.

The CCG is in the fourth and final wave of the authorisation process and should be fully authorised next February.

At the first open board meeting of the Group, commissioners also revealed they are struggling to meet NHS savings targets.

Mike Sexton, Finance Director, said that Croydon PCT was £4m short of reaching a £25m target to break even by the end of the financial year.

“Our objective is to still as far as possible to achieve the break-even position by the end of the year,” he said. “That is an incredible challenge but we want to be able to do it in a way that does not affect patient care.”

Commissioners also outlined plans to reduce the number of patients visiting A&E outside of working hours. Research found that parents are taking their children to emergency services for minor treatments such as doses of Calpol or Nurofen.

Around 150,000 people visit local emergency departments in the area each year. That figure could rise by another 20,000 if services are cut at St Helier Hospital in Sutton. It’s estimated that each A&E visit costs a minimum of £59.

The CCG is now developing a partnership with local pharmacies and educational facilities to raise awareness of alternative treatment options.