Let’s have a heated debate - Blog 13

Wednesday, November 8, 2017 - 11:00
Dr Paul Williams
This financial year looks like it will be a watershed in the history of West Norfolk CCG. Up to now the CCG has managed, as we are required to by NHS England, to deliver a small surplus at the end of each financial year. Although we have several months to go yet I think it is unlikely we will do so this year and we may even be overspent by the end of March. In common with the majority of NHS organisations across the country we are finding it very tough to find the money for all the services the population of West Norfolk need and deserve. There are cost pressures on all our provider organisations too as the pressure to fund improved care for an ageing population in the face of health care inflation, which runs well in excess of normal inflation, puts pressure on us when we are trying to live within constrained budgets.
 
Quite rightly we are investing more in mental health care and what could be described as out of hospital care as we try to expedite hospital discharges and fund continuing health care for people with significant medical problems living in the community. At the moment we have not had to make any significant cuts to our services, although we have rationed some of them,  but the day we do is getting closer I fear.  I think we need a mature public debate on where the priorities for West Norfolk CCG should be. We all will know of, or have heard of, individual cases where people are not getting the treatment they believe they are entitled to. When we are deciding where we spend our money we are doing so at a much higher level in ignorance of individual patients and their personal worries; our approach is to fund treatments and procedures which have good evidence behind them and deliver the best value for money; we cannot change a whole policy, or make individual exceptions, because of stories we hear about individuals, no matter how heart wrenching they may be.
 
Get involved in the debate; write to us here at the CCG, get involved in the patient participation group at your surgery and feedback any thoughts and suggestions to contact.wnccg [at] nhs.net