Harrogate NHS commissioner facing 'special measures' over £14 million deficit

The commissioning body for NHS services in the Harrogate District is facing '˜special measures' designation in light of a £14million deficit.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 7th March 2018, 5:04 pm
Updated Wednesday, 7th March 2018, 5:10 pm

One of the biggest consultancy firms in the world, PricewaterhouseCoopers is working with Harrogate and Rural District Clinical Commissioning Group (HaRD CCG) to provide a “fresh pair of eyes” on its financial situation.

The CCG, which commissions health services across the district, was once rated as ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission, but fell into ‘requires improvement’ in July 2017 when it reported a forecast deficit of £6.5 million.

By December last year, that forecast figure had more than doubled to over £14 million.

Sign up to our daily Harrogate Advertiser Today newsletter

A spokesperson for HaRD CCG said: “HaRD CCG has met the threshold where special measures are being considered, due to the financial challenge it faces.

“However, it is important to note that no decision has been made.

“People across the area consistently benefit from some of the highest rated NHS services in England; however as a local healthcare system we have acknowledged over the past two years that we face significant financial challenges.

“In December 2017 the CCG submitted a revised forecast to NHS England of £14m deficit for this financial year and this figure remains unchanged.

“The CCG is currently in discussions with NHS England about delivering against our local plan and are considering our next steps.”

Three other North Yorkshire CCGs; Scarborough and Ryedale, Hambleton, and Richmondshire and Whitby face the same fate, with NHS leaders expected to trigger all four into special measures imminently.

North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Health and Adult Services, Councillor Michael Harrison, said the council would take formal action, only if any recovery plans involved a change to services in the Harrogate District.

He said: “The government has asked Price Waterhouse Coopers to go in and work with them. They are having a fresh pair of eyes look at their financial situation.

“The key thing is whether any of this affects the service that residents get and at this stage there is no change to that.

“So while we hear that special measures are imminent, as long as the service residents get isn’t changing, there is no specific action that the council would be interested in taking.”

He added: “On a day to day basis the CCG and the hospital are continuing to provide the services they have been commissioned to do.

“The county council continues to work with them on a daily basis and so I’m keen to stress that there is no change to that.”