Savings of more than £32m need to be made across Warwickshire according to the latest figures revealed by health bosses Thursday.
And at an extraordinary meeting of NHS Warwickshire North and NHS Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), members were told that funds would be limited and that a concerted effort was needed.
Clare Hollingworth, the chief finance officer for both CCGs, admitted that there was a significant risk that the groups would fail to deliver on their statutory breakeven duties.
The budget plan for Warwickshire North highlights savings of £10.5m in 2019/20 with £21.8m earmarked for Coventry and Rugby.
In her report, Ms Hollingworth explained: “Whilst the level of revenue growth allocated to CCGs in 2019/20 is possibly more generous that in recent years, the financial outlook remains challenging and a continued focus on activity and cost reduction measures is required. Locally, the scale of the 2019/20 financial challenge has been exacerbated by under delivery against 2018/19 savings plans.”
She outlined a number of key risks and challenging facing the CCGs including the rising cost of drugs leading to pressure on the cost of prescriptions.
“Growing international demand for pharmaceuticals may well give rise to other stock or price issues in the future,” she added.
“Ideally the CCG should look to make some provision within its financial plan for these potential risks but this would add to an already significantly challenging savings target.”
And in answer to questions from other members at the meeting which was held in Heron House, Nuneaton, she added: “We need a concerted effort and a real focus to ensure we deliver on this tight budget. There are limited funds available.”
Members approved the financial plans for the coming financial year but also noted the financial risks involved.
The meeting also considered a report into equality across the two CCG, concentrating on the issues of most concern to patients, carers and staff including inclusive leadership and an improved patient experience and better access.
Anita Wilson, associate director of governance and corporate affairs, explained: “The CCG is committed to fulfill its obligations under the Equality Act 2010 and to ensure services commissioned by the CCG are non-discriminatory on the grounds of any protected characteristics.”
The 28-page report was endorsed by members who also recommended it for approval.