Update – November 2013
In response to Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Group’s announcement that it is to withdraw from the Better Services Better Value programme, Croydon, Kingston, Merton, Richmond, Sutton and Wandsworth CCGs have issued the following joint statement.
“We are taking stock of the fact that Surrey Downs CCG has chosen not to remain part of the BSBV programme, but we understand and respect their position. Clinicians want to achieve the best possible quality in our health services and we are all committed to the London Quality Standards.
“What is clear is that the problems we face have not gone away– indeed, more and more evidence is emerging at national and London level of the need for us to change the way the NHS operates if we are to deliver high quality, financially sustainable services for patients. While changes in hospital services are always difficult, we cannot allow our local services to be left behind as others commit to delivering 24-hour services to the highest quality standards.
“There have been two significant developments since the proposals were put forward and we need to respond to these.
“First, NHS England’s Call to Action describes how the NHS is facing a number of significant challenges; an ageing population, increasing prevalence of long term conditions, lifestyle choices that lead to increases in conditions such as obesity or cancer, and rising healthcare costs. Combined with the assumption that the NHS budget will remain flat in real terms, this presents us with an unprecedented challenge to improve clinical quality whilst delivering a financially sustainable health system. Only bold and transformative change to how services are delivered will enable us to continue providing a high quality yet free at the point of use health service. All CCGs are required to respond to NHS England’s Call to Action by developing five-year strategic plans that respond to the clinical and financial challenges faced by the NHS.
“Second, we have learned that the overall budget available for all CCGs to spend on hospital care is going to be reduced in the next two years, with £3.8 billion being allocated to the Integration Transformation Fund, a single pooled budget for health and social care services to work more closely together in local areas, based on a plan agreed between the NHS and local authorities. While this funding for better integration is welcome, it will leave less money available for us to commission hospital services. We know we will have to work together to ensure we can deliver safe, high quality and sustainable services. We also need to look again at the changing financial position.
“We, the six south-west London CCGs, will continue to work together to prepare a collective response to the Call to Action. We will continue to work very closely with Surrey Downs and with our members as we discuss the next steps.
“We recognise that the status quo is even less of an option now than it was when the Better Services Better Value programme started. We want to avoid continued uncertainty for patients and staff and will look to bring forward revised proposals as soon as we can as part of our response to the Call to Action.”