'Difficult decisions' ahead for healthcare - as area has one of the biggest overspends in the country

PUBLISHED: 10:00 30 April 2017

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Professional doctor giving pills

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The three organisations which commission healthcare services in North Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire have announced a formal partnership - but £66million of cuts are on the horizon.

Weston General's spend on temporary doctors has almost hit £6million.Weston General's spend on temporary doctors has almost hit £6million.

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire have announced they will work together with the aim of improving healthcare and ensuring services are good value for money.

But national regulators have told them massive savings must be made, as their current way of working would see NHS services in the area operate in a £90million deficit for the next year.

Analysis by the Health Service Journal (HSJ) found the area has one of the largest overspends in the country in relation to its total budget, which sits at £1.15billion for 2017/18.

The formal partnership will enable the CCGs to jointly commission more services, giving them more power to negotiate better contracts and provide better continuity of care.

The CCGs have already identified areas where £66million of savings can be made for 2017/18.

Speaking on behalf of the three CCGs, Dr Martin Jones, clinical chair of Bristol CCG, said the area is dynamic with a ‘growing and diverse’ population of close to one million people.

He added: “This formal commitment will enable us to work collectively to improve the health of the whole population, reduce health inequalities and ensure NHS services are fit for the long term.

“This may involve some difficult decisions. But in order to protect the widest possible range of healthcare services for the broadest possible population, we will have to ask ourselves, and most importantly the people we serve, how we make the best use of resources to continue to meet local health needs.

“We look forward to working with partners, patients and the public to ensure they are involved to develop better, more sustainable healthcare services.”

Weston General Hospital could also undergo huge changes in the next few years, read more about it here.

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