Published: 17:25, 05 March 2018
Health chiefs in north Kent have insisted patient care will not be affected despite being in the red to the tune of £7.3m.
The Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley CCG - which provides primary care for 258,000 patients and commissions acute care from hospitals - is the latest to reveal a budget deficit.
The Clinical Commissioning Group, made up of GPs in the area, said that it was unlikely to balance the books by the end of the year because there had been an on-going issue of an increase in population and demand for care.
Plans were recently unveiled for all the county’s CCGs to consult on an informal merger.
In a statement, the CCG said: “Last year in Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley, we reported a deficit of £13.5million, owing in part to the gap between local population growth and funding levels, and the additional increase in demand for health services.
“The CCG has been working with NHS England for a number of months to make sure our predicted financial position is consistent with their expectations.
"We are currently forecasting a reduction in the deficit to around £7.3million, with another £3.7m of unmitigated risk, which we are working to mitigate by the end of the financial year.
"We do not expect this to have a negative impact on care for local patients.”
The statement went on to say the CCG had a “a robust financial recovery plan in place” which had already had a number of successes.
“Some of our savings are being delivered through innovative projects that minimise waste of NHS resources and improve patient care pathways.
"We have also reviewed all of our contracts, including those with our main hospital and community providers.
"We have been implementing new processes to reduce duplication of work and make sure we get better value for each pound that we spend to meet patients’ needs.”
Elsewhere in the county, Ashford CCG is in the red by £12m while The Canterbury and Coastal CCG has a £4m deficit.
However, Medway CCG and South Kent Coast CCG - covering Shepway, Dover and Deal - are both showing a break even position.
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