Wakefield CCG endures 'difficult' financial year but has 'turned the corner'

White Rose House in Wakefield, where the CCG's headquarters are based.
White Rose House in Wakefield, where the CCG's headquarters are based.

The group responsible for NHS services in Wakefield has "turned the corner" financially as it tries to balance its books, a public meeting has been told.

Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) was deemed to have overspent in a critical report last June by an independent consultancy, who said that the body had made "fundamental errors" in its planning process.

The CCG was told urgent action was required to improve its financial position.

But one year into a four year recovery plan agreed with NHS England, the organisation has managed to make £15m of the £16.5m worth of savings it had targeted in the 2018/19 financial year.

Speaking at the CCG's board meeting on Tuesday, the organisation's chief finance officer Jonathan Webb said: "It’s been a difficult year for the CCG financially.

"We are in year one of a recovery plan. But it’s been a positive year in that we have achieved that plan.

"Subject to audit, it looks as though we are where we needed to go to financially."

Although the CCG did overspend in some areas, including running costs, it managed to make cutbacks in several other departments.

Mr Webb, who was appointed to his position last May, added: "We spent less than we intended on prescribing and we also spent less than what we intended on mental health.

"I must put a caveat on that and say that we still made a huge investment in mental health that was well in excess of what we were required to nationally.

"There’s been a lot of good work done, most of which was done before I started my job here.

"I think the organisation has arrested the problem that it had and I think it’s turned the corner.

"There will be some challenges ahead but we are in a better position than we were last year."

Mr Webb recommended the CCG stick with its current recovery plan for the foreseeable despite "uncertainty" over potential changes to the way local NHS services are funded by the government.

Local Democracy Reporting Service