Corby health body manages to balance its books

Corby CCG interim chief financial officer Stuart Rees NNL-180914-124447005
Corby CCG interim chief financial officer Stuart Rees NNL-180914-124447005

Corby’s health chiefs have said they have managed to balance their £110m books with some spare change at the end of the last financial year.

Corby Clinical Commissioning Group - the country’s smallest CCG - had a spending budget of £110.097m with £2.002m of savings to make. They managed it with £71,000 to spare.

Although the full accounts have not yet been signed off so are not available to view, interim chief financial officer Stuart Rees who joined Corby CCG on April 1, said that there was lots of work to do to ensure the organisation stayed in the black.

“It’s been a successful year for the CCG. There’s still a lot more to do,” he said.

“The challenges aren’t going to get any easier in the public sector but we’re working a lot more closely with our partner organisations and building those plans.

“Finances are going to be tougher but we’re going to do as much as we can.

“It’s not an easy time for the public sector at the moment and once you go into financial deficit it becomes very difficult to get things changed.

“The books balanced with £71,000 at the end and when you’re talking about £110m that’s very tight.”

Mr Rees revealed that the biggest spend was on acute care which accounted for 53 per cent of spending last year.

The CCG received £1,399.79 from the government for each patient in 2017/18 and £753 of that was spent in acute services including Corby Urgent Care Centre.

He said: “We’ve got to change that.

“We have got a lot of work to do but the CCG is stable financially and it gives us the chance to do that going forward.”

The CCG will receive an extra £3.8m of government funding in the 2018/19 financial year - but this is against a backdrop of a rapidly increasing population in the town, including people with more complex health needs.

Mr Rees added: “There are demands on the money so every year we have to squeeze.

“The CCG has delivered a financial plan to deliver savings of £3.9m which will enable it to break even.”

Last August, the CCG was ordered to pay Lakeside Plus the correct tariff after a judge ruled in an expert determination that they had been not paying them enough for the urgent care centre services they had provided for the past three years. This bill was expected to run into millions and CCG bosses said it would have to cut other services to pay it.

In the present financial year, the CCG proposed changes to the Corby Urgent Care centre that would mean people would have to make an appointment instead of just walking in. They said the current model was not financially sustainable. A judicial review ruled that these changes would have to be consulted on and the plan was scrapped on Thursday, with the current services set to be offered for a further three years.