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Financial audit finds CCG in ‘worst financial position’ in the country


16 November 2016

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Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group has been given an “unprecedented” finding of “no assurance” following a review of their financial delivery.

The audit rating, the lowest of four possible ratings, means the governing body can have no assurance that plans to control financial delivery are being applied effectively.

The CCG, which now has its fourth accountable officer in just over a year, was initially given a controlled deficit total of £14 million for the year, but that has since been increased to £25.9 million.

Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group has been given an “unprecedented” finding of “no assurance” following a review of their financial delivery.

The audit rating, the lowest of four possible ratings, means the governing body can have no assurance that plans to control financial delivery are being applied effectively.

The CCG, which now has its fourth accountable officer in just over a year, was initially given a controlled deficit total of £14 million for the year, but that has since been increased to £25.9 million.

According to a report given by William Hutton, chair of the audit committee, to the CCG’s governing body, the finding of no assurance is “unprecedented for this CCG and almost unknown in any other organisation”.

External auditors commented that this was “the worst set of findings from internal audit reviews that they had ever seen” and a finding of no assurance “is almost unprecedented in any NHS organisation”.

Last year, the CCG was given a rating of limited assurance and ratings of significant assurance during the two years before that, in 2014/15 and 2013/14.

Wendy Saviour, director of commissioning operations at NHS England (North Midlands), told the governing body that Shropshire CCG is in one of the worst financial positions in the country.

According to the Shropshire Star, at the meeting she said: “That really is it. You cannot keep saying you can have more borrowing, it is more money you are borrowing from other health systems and other patients.

“This really has to be it, it is about getting a grip on activity, taking costs out of the system."

She added: "The CCG is now in one of the worst financial positions of CCGs in the country so it is the responsibility of this board to get a grip on that.”

Saviour told The Commissioning Review: “NHS Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group was placed in ‘directions’ earlier this year by NHS England. We continue to work with Shropshire CCG to strengthen its governance and leadership, and to address its financial deficit.”

A follow up review is planned for December to identify any progress made to address the issues highlighted.

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