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EXCLUSIVE: Focus of CCG funding review “still being agreed”


12 April 2013

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NHS England is unsure of how to change the resource allocation formula, but aims to update how much each CCG is funded by next year. 
An NHS England spokesperson told The Commissioning Review that the scope of a review into the formula which controls how much money each clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) is given by NHS England “is still being agreed”. 

NHS England is unsure of how to change the resource allocation formula, but aims to update how much each CCG is funded by next year. 
An NHS England spokesperson told The Commissioning Review that the scope of a review into the formula which controls how much money each clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) is given by NHS England “is still being agreed”. 
The spokesman said: “We expect [the review] to be broad, covering issues like how allocations policy fits in to NHS England's strategic aims as well as more technical issues, focused on the target formula for instance.”  


NHS England revealed the initial findings of the review will be “in time to influence 2014/15 CCG allocations.”
The changes will affect how much money CCGs are given by NHS England to procure services. 
Separated funding
A key issue in the King’s Fund report into resource allocation, released yesterday, was that government reforms had separated public health funding from primary and community care funding. 
The report said: “It is clear that resource allocation will become more fragmented as the new system is implemented and as the number of commissioners proliferates. 
“This poses substantial risks to a system that needs to integrate around whole care pathways and populations.”
Improving the allocation of health resources in England concluded that there is “no sign” of DH addressing the risks. 
Before the reforms, DH’s allocation formula provided funding directly to primary care trusts and local authorities. 
However, the Health and Social Care Act transferred responsibility for CCG funding allocation to NHS England. 
In June 2012 the independent Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation (ACRA), which oversees the DH formula, attempted to balance out the funding between deprived areas and those with high numbers of older people. 
Traditionally areas with a high level of deprivation were given more money by the Department of Health. 
However, in December 2012 NHS England decided not to use the updated ACRA formula.
An NHS England spokesman said the ACRA formula focused too heavily on funding older people, neglecting deprivation. 
‘As fair as possible’
The King’s Fund report expressed concerns around basing public health allocations solely on a formula. 
However the Department of Health said ACRA formula “was designed to allocate funding as fairly as possible”. 
The spokesman said: "Our reforms put local authorities in charge of public health and gave them the power, freedom and the funding to help improve the lives of their communities.
“Budgets will not only be ring fenced and protected, but… funding will be specifically targeted for the first time at those areas with the worst health outcomes. This means that the areas with the greatest needs will receive more money.” 
The Department of Health’s second ACRA review into the funding formula for public health will soon be underway. 
A full list of how much each CCG is receiving from NHS England for 2013/14 is available here
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