Health body announces plan to address financial pressure

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Have your say on NHS services in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough by taking part in The Big Conversation. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

A new five-year plan has been announced by the body which overseas the health service in Cambridgeshire.

The board of the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) announced a new 'five-year plan' at its annual meeting on September 17.

Speaking to a gathering of NHS officials, Jan Thomas, accountable officer for the CCG said: "Our new five-year plan is complex and ambitious, but the CCG are most definitely looking forward now rather than backwards, and we believe this is to be the right way to use public money.

"We already have a six-point, short-term plan in action focused on 'urgent care', 'primary care', 'cancer', 'diabetes', 'falls' and of course bringing us back to 'financial stability'.

"We can't take our foot off the work that we've been doing to improve our cancer response as we're rated 'outstanding' in this area; and there's nothing worse than going backwards on something.

"But it's no good focusing just on what we're good at and leaving it there, we want to learn from that achievement and apply it to those areas needing improvement - only then we will we get better and better at what we deliver.

"Diabetes is a prime example of an area that for a number of years we simply haven't put enough effort into, and already this is changing."

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Ms Thomas added: "Of course, getting us back to financial stability goes without saying."

Cambridgeshire receives funding of £1,125 per patient from the Government, compared to £1,470 per patient in neighbouring Norfolk, and Ms Thomas said this equated to a comparative shortfall of hundreds of millions of pounds.

She said: "It might not sound like much at first, just £345 per person; but applied across our total population it equates to hundreds of millions of pounds per annum shortfall.

"Therefore, the CCG believes that for the next five years it is critical to build population strategic planning'.

"We see our role for the future as helping our service providers be really successful at what they do - that means giving them more autonomy at what they're doing, but making certain the resources we have are used efficiently and effectively across the population of Cambridgeshire.

"While our annual budget amounts to something like £1.2bn per annum, it has to be used where it is needed most, and that requires focussing. This new five-year plan will do just that. We cannot afford to revert to the past where there were huge amounts of duplication of services."