NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups grant funding cuts decision

We’ve finally had a decision about cuts to our NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) grant funding next year. We aren’t losing all our funding (the original proposal). However about two thirds of CCGs funding to South Derbyshire CVS will end in March.

3 grants to our practical help, befriending and vSPA services, will end and funding for our group support and Volunteer Centre services will be reduced by around 20%.

The NHS Derbyshire CCGs Boards made their decision at a meeting last week.

South Derbyshire CVS is working hard to make sure these vital services continue after March.

We recognize the challenges faced by our health partners but we believe the cuts which affect voluntary groups across Derbyshire are short sighted and will create additional pressure on frontline NHS services.

A big thank you to everyone who supported our #CVSSOS campaign and helped us make our case to the CCGs.

The Leader and Cabinet members of Derbyshire County Council – which jointly funds some of the services affected – have issued a statement saying that they are disappointed and concerned about the potential impact of the cuts: https://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/council/news-events/news-updates/news/our-response-to-health-cut-announcements.aspx.

We’ll keep all our service users and partners updated – but if you have any immediate questions please contact Pam or Kerrie at South Derbyshire CVS on 01283 219761 or email managers@sdcvs.org.uk.


CCGs cuts – latest news

Derbyshire CCGs held their Joint Governing Body meeting on 28th September. The proposals in the paper that went to that meeting were agreed by all the four Derbyshire CCG Boards.

In brief, while not ideal, the news is better than we thought it might be when the proposed cuts were announced in July. There won’t be any cuts in funding this financial year for our befriending or practical help services, but there will be a small cut for the vSPA service and for Infrastructure.

Discussions continue with the CCGs to look at how these services are to be delivered in 2019/20, and there will be more consultation/engagement about the discretionary grant for befriending, with recommendations about the future of this service going to the CCGs’ December Board.

Since the CCGs meeting, there has also been a Derbyshire County Council Improvement and Scrutiny Committee (Health) meeting held on 1stOctober. We are yet to hear the outcome of this meeting but as soon as we do we will let you know.

Keep watching this space!

Council leader urges health chief to think again

Derbyshire County Council put out the following press release on Wednesday 12th September. It makes for interesting reading and we are heartened by the Council acknowledging the value of the sector:

Council leader urges health chief to think again

The leader of Derbyshire County Council has today called on a Derbyshire health chief to reconsider NHS plans to cut funding to local voluntary sector organisations.

Councillor Barry Lewis met with Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Groups’ chief executive Dr Chris Clayton to question him about the “devastating” cuts the Derbyshire CCGs are proposing.

Councillor Lewis also expressed surprise at the way the county’s four CCGs had been wasting money over the years and said he was shocked they hadn’t addressed the overspending earlier.

“The CCGs say they can save £26million a year by stopping paying twice for some services and a further £16million on prescriptions,” said Councillor Lewis.

“If they’d looked at this sooner they wouldn’t be in the financial black hole they’re in now and wouldn’t have to look at the voluntary sector for savings.”

The £1.2million cuts to the voluntary sector proposed by the four Derbyshire CCGs aim to help address a funding shortfall of £95million. If they go ahead, they would affect 22 Derbyshire charities and community groups delivering many services for the county’s most vulnerable residents.

Councillor Lewis said:

“We had a constructive discussion and Dr Clayton assured me nothing had been decided yet on the proposals.

“I explained the cuts would have a devastating impact on the work of the community and voluntary sector and I have asked the CCGs to put them on hold and to look again at where savings can be made.

“I also raised my concerns about the woeful lack of consultation with the voluntary groups affected, partner organisations and the public.

“I urged Dr Clayton to consider deferring any decision to give more time for meaningful consultation to take place with the people who rely on these services, who would be badly affected if funding stopped.

“I am determined to ensure that the residents of Derbyshire continue to receive the care and support they need and deserve.”

Before his meeting with Councillor Lewis yesterday, Dr Clayton appeared before the Council’s Improvement and Scrutiny Committee – Health, which was considering referring the CCGs’ proposals to the Secretary of State.

The committee agreed to defer the decision as discussions were ongoing, but committee chair Councillor David Taylor said the committee reserved the right to refer the proposals to the Secretary of State for Health and called for a further meeting with Dr Clayton on Monday 1st October.

Councillor Lewis added:

“During a parliamentary debate on this issue just last week, it was made clear by health minister Stephen Barclay, and there was cross-party consensus, that the voluntary sector should not be the first port of call when the CCGs are looking to make savings.

“They acknowledged the services run by the community and voluntary sector offer very good value for money.

“I understand that the Derbyshire CCGs face a huge financial challenge but, unlike the council, the NHS has received significant government funding for its services over recent years. These proposed cuts are very short-sighted as they could end up costing more in the long run.”

He pointed out the cuts are contrary to the Derbyshire Joined Up Care proposals, an NHS-led plan for health and social care to work more closely together.

The Council’s cabinet member for health and communities Councillor Carol Hart, who is responsible for public health, said:

“The impact of these proposed cuts is already being felt. Community Concern Erewash and Bright Street Laundry in Ilkeston have announced they’re to close in light of the threat of withdrawing NHS funding.

“Implementing these cuts would affect the very services the Derbyshire CCGs are relying on to help them deliver the NHS’s five-year forward plan for the integration of health and social care.”

Councillor Jean Wharmby, the Council’s cabinet member for adult care, added:

“It seems very short sighted that at a time of growing demand and with more emphasis on prevention work, the Derbyshire CCGs are proposing to cut grants to the very groups that make such a big difference in local communities.

“Some of them are very low cost but bring a high level of benefit to the county’s most vulnerable people.”

We will report back after the committee has met with Dr Clayton on Monday 1st October – watch this space!

CCG cuts debated in Parliament

The proposed Derbyshire CCG cuts to voluntary sector funding were the subject of a Westminster Hall debate earlier this week, raised by Ruth George (MP for High Peak) though with concerns expressed by MPs from both sides of the house. You can read a transcript of the debate including response from the Minister for health on the UK Parliament website here

There’s nothing new to report really – the Minster just states the current CCG position i.e. that further consultation is taking place.  However it’s positive that we have support at this level and across party lines.

D is for ‘delay the decision’!

On Friday afternoon I went to the joint meeting of the 4 NHS Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Boards to decide on the proposed funding cuts to voluntary and community groups.  There was a good voluntary sector turnout – though strictly we were there as observers without the right to take part in the discussions and very limited time at the end to ask questions. Though as you will see, we did find a way to make one clear statement to Board members!


In short – they decided not to make a decision just yet.

Some questions were raised by board members about impact on local frontline health services if the  voluntary services disappeared. It was therefore proposed and agreed to delay a decision for a month, so that ‘rapid service reviews’ can be carried out and to allow further engagement with county council and those affected. Once this has been done, another meeting in public will be held to present and agree final proposals

This is unexpected, and slightly better news than we expected – in the short term at least. While the eventual outcome might be no different, the delay does mean that the 3 month notice period is also delayed.

We will continue to make the case for funding these essential community services.

Local TV and press were also present – including this report in the Derby Telegraph


It’s D-Day…

This afternoon the NHS Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) will make their decision about funding to voluntary and community groups.

The paper which is being presented at that meeting was made public a couple of days ago, and we understand that the proposal now is that:

  • Most services funded through discretionary grants (including our befriending groups and practical help) will have their funding cut after a 3 month notice period;
  • Withdrawal of some services (including Cruse bereavement support and Stroke Association communication support) would pose a significant risk to patient safety, so these will continue to be funded while contracted provision can be put in place (but no later than 31/3/19, and CCG is not committing to being responsible for this long term);
  • A new Home from Hospital service will go out to tender shortly from Derbyshire County Council.   The CCG will ‘liaise’ with DCC about how they might support CCG funded services that would come under the remit of this, during a transition period – but it’s not clear that DCC have agreed to anything;
  • Voluntary Sector Support (‘infrastructure’) services such as CVS and vSPA will be given until September to agree how they will continue providing a service – and supporting those groups who’ve lost their grants – despite an in-year budget cut of £100k (out of a total £780k), while future arrangements are reviewed.  If they can’t agree how they will do this, then these services will be given notice as well.  The paper also says that they will ‘consume’ services like befriending and sitting services that have their funding cut, as part of their ‘core offer’ – it’s not clear what this means or how it would be possible, particularly as many of these services are not currently provided by infrastructure organisations, and even those that are will have no funding after the cuts.

While this is slightly better news for some services, at least in the short term, what will happen after March 2019 isn’t clear. Many services will still have all their CCG funding cut in 3 months time.

Those groups affected attended an engagement event earlier this week and strongly made the point that voluntary services are part of the solution to pressures on the NHS, not the cause of the problem, and that the impact of the cuts will be more expensive in the longer term.

We will update you early next week once we know what decision has been made.  In the meantime BBC Radio Derby and BBC East Midlands are covering the story today.

Kerrie on CCG D-Day

Kerrie Fletcher, our Community Development Manager heading off to the CCG Board meeting in Clay Cross this afternoon

D(ecision)-Day approaches … last chance to act

We’ve now had the date of the meeting where the voluntary sector cuts will be discussed and a decision made – next Friday 17 August. So this is (y)our last chance to influence their decision.

Here’s what you can do

  • Write to the CEO of the CCG.  Tell him which CVS services you use / are concerned about and how you will be affected.
    Dr Chris Clayton, CEO, NHS Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Groups, Cardinal Square, 1st Floor, North Point, 10 Nottingham Road Derby DE1 3QT or email ceo.derbyshireccgs@nhs.net
    Send a copy to your local MP, Councillor and local media. You can find their contact details our Support Us page
    Come and join us at the meeting on Friday 17 August where the decision will be made –it’s open to the public. 1.00 – 2.30pm at Coney Green Business Centre, Wingfield View, Clay Cross S45 9JW

If you need help writing your letter or have any questions contact us at sos@sdcvs.org.uk or 01283 219761