Response from the NW London CCGs to the 'Guardian' on financial recovery

On Monday 9 September the NW London CCGs sent a response to the editor of the Guardian, following their publication: 'GPs told to restrict specialist services under new NHS 'rationing' plan'

Dear Editor,

Your article London (GPs told to restrict specialist services under new NHS 'rationing' plan) wrongly suggests that we have a plan to ‘ration’ access to special referrals in North West London.

We have written to local GPs to highlight the fact that so far this year, we have been spending beyond our allocated budget. We are attempting to contain this overspending, not by rationing referrals but by ensuring that all referrals are appropriate and within clinical guidelines. As part of this, we are suggesting that where possible, referrals should be made within North West London. These are not ‘cuts’ to existing provision, but an attempt to stem unexpected growth in activity that could ultimately place health services in the area under intolerable pressure. We know that too many of our patients currently end up in hospital when they do not need to be there or attending outpatient appointments that they do not require.

As you report, all parts of the local NHS are developing a financial recovery plan to address our long term underlying deficit. Local clinicians will work with local people and patients in making decisions around this.

Yours sincerely

Mark Easton Lesley Watts
Accountable Officer, North West London Collaboration of Clinical Commissioning Groups SRO, NW London Health and Care Partnership & Chief Executive, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundations Trust

Notes:

The Guardian article followed the publication of a letter the NW London CCGs sent to staff and stakeholders on Wednesday 28 August about financial recovery.
More frequently asked questions about our financial recovery be found here.