Health bosses to review hospitals and prescriptions to help save £46m

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WIGAN’S healthcare services face a challenging financial year as it strives to make £46m savings by 2015.

At the first ever meeting of the new NHS Ashton Leigh and Wigan Locality Board, finance chiefs outlined exactly how the huge savings being implemented by the Government would be met.

The new board has replaced the former PCT board in line with the Government’s plans to dissolve PCTs by 2013 and replace them with GP led consortia.

Mike Tate, Locality Director of Finance, Contracting and Performance Management for the ALWLB, delivered his finance report for the first two months of 2011/12, pointing out the stringent measures now in place.

The report shows that the PCT has to deliver savings of £12.7m through the Government’s Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) programme to ensure that each pound spent is used to bring maximum benefit and quality of care to patients.

The biggest chunk of these savings will be made through the £5.5m cuts in secondary care (hospital services) through Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust savings.

There will also be pressure on the Medicines Management Team to save £1.8m in prescriptions.

Mr Tate said: “Not meeting the QIPP savings target represents a significant risk to the PCT with regard to the delivery of its statutory financial duty.”

Other savings highlighted in the report regard the North West Strategic Health Authority, which has kept £10.9 million to cover any deficits that may arise during the year - a process known as top-slicing.

Mr Tate’s report highlights that these savings will also be made by cuts, including £2.5m in specialist nursing activity and £1.4m in redundancies.

He said that the PCT had submitted a business case for the £10.9m to be returned to the PCT by NWSHA but as yet they have not heard if this has been successful.

He said that should the £10.9m not be returned it would pose serious financial risk to the PCT, but he said that based on the first two months of the financial year, the PCT was on target to make the required savings.