Bradford CCGs looking to improve quality and create financial savings

Local clinical leaders in Bradford are facing some tough challenges in the months ahead to improve service quality for patients while bringing about essential financial savings.

NHS Bradford City and NHS Bradford Districts clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) need to make efficiency savings of £13m in 2016/17.

Nationally, the NHS is facing immense financial pressure. The national NHS savings requirement has been calculated as £22bn, to be delivered by 2020/21.

For local CCGs, there is a gap between their annual budgets and the increasing cost of providing healthcare to the people of Bradford. In Bradford Districts CCG, this gap is around £10.4m, and £2.6m in Bradford City, in 2016/17.

Dr Andy Withers, clinical chair of Bradford Districts CCG, said: “Despite our extremely strong record of financial management, our CCGs are facing their own financial challenges, largely due to ever increasing demand for an expanding range of services locally.

“Without making savings now, money will not be available for the future transformation of services; so we must look at how we can innovate, be more productive, prevent NHS resources being used inappropriately and ensure services are still of the highest quality.”

Efficiency savings are required to close this gap. This is not new – efficiencies have been “business as usual” in the NHS for many years – delivering best value for money, within the resources we have available.

The CCGs are reviewing certain areas as part of an overall NHS programme known as QIPP – quality, innovation, productivity and prevention – which is all about making sure that each pound spent brings maximum benefit and quality of care to patients.

Dr Akram Khan, clinical chair of Bradford City CCG, said: “Our plans are challenging and difficult decisions will need to be taken, but we will be honest and open about the tough choices we face. Our newly formed People’s Board will also play an important role in sense-checking our plans and bringing a patient’s perspective to proposed changes.

“Many of our proposed QIPP projects are unlikely to have significant impact on any particular groups of patients, but where a QIPP project involves the potential redesign of a service or pathway, we will engage fully with local people and stakeholders.”

In Bradford, the CCGs are looking at guidance about best practice and improvements in patient pathways to make changes that will improve the experience for patients, but also release savings. The CCGs are also working closely with their providers to agree these changes.

The achievement of the NHS QIPP programme for Bradford depends on reviewing some services, interventions and prescriptions, which may include stopping, reducing or changing the way that they are provided. Plans are being drawn up for a range of schemes including:

  • reducing medicine waste, particularly through a review of repeat prescribing systems and processes and increasing patients’ and professionals’ awareness of the effects of such waste
  • working with patients and others to review their journey through the NHS to make sure that it is as clinically effective and patient-friendly as possible
  • creating new ways of reducing unnecessary duplication of services and/or tests
  • reviewing the prescribing of gluten-free foods
  • ensuring the most cost effective drugs are prescribed, where appropriate
  • where possible, expanding successful pilot schemes, such as the mental health wellbeing service
  • using IT to help GPs with the appropriate referral of patients.

Further details about each scheme will be shared with the public as the QIPP programme takes shape locally.