Earlier this month NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk and NHS West Suffolk clinical commissioning groups highlighted that, although not currently in debt, £13 million of combined cost efficiencies have to be made in order to balance the books. The CCGs do not have enough money to continue delivering all the local healthcare services in the way they do now.
Over the next eight weeks (19 July – 9 September) people are being asked for their views on two proposals which could help address this serious financial situation.
The first proposal is to reduce access to in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) services, which is the procedure used to assist with the conception of a child. The CCGs currently fund two cycles of IVF treatment for women aged up to 40, and one cycle of treatment for women aged 40 – 42. The CCGs would like to hear peoples’ views on reducing IVF treatment to one cycle only for eligible patients or reducing IVF treatment to 0 cycles (but still enabling people to apply for individual funding for IVF in certain circumstances). Under these plans, the current IVF service provision would be restricted as it does not provide sufficient benefit to the overall health economy.
The second proposal is to focus the Marginalised and Vulnerable Adults (MVA) service in the Ipswich area, where most of those who use the service are located. The service currently operates across east and west Suffolk and is supports homeless people, refugees and asylum seekers, Gypsies, Travellers and Roma people and ex-offenders. MVA is largely delivered through drop-in clinics and helps those people access the right healthcare service for their needs. The main aims of the service are to improve access to GP services and ensure the most appropriate use of NHS services.
Dr Ed Garratt, the CCGs’ chief officer said: “Nationally the NHS is facing a challenging future as demand for services continues to increase. An expanding and ageing population and more people living with long term health conditions are placing further pressure on already over-stretched finances.
“It is important we are honest and open about this financial situation. Locally, the CCGs are currently not in debt, but over the coming year they are at serious risk of spending more money than they have.
“Therefore, the clinicians, who run the CCGs along with managers, have had to think really hard about how and where they can reduce their spending. We are not making these proposals lightly and we understand that these are hugely emotive subjects. It is important to gather views on what these proposals mean to local people and what impact they could have on their lives. This is also an opportunity for people to tell us how they think further cost savings can be made as we tackle this ongoing financial situation, to ensure the sustainability of the core and essential health services.
“I would encourage people to take some time to carefully consider these proposals and submit their views either online, in writing or face-to-face at our engagement events which will be happening across east and west Suffolk over the next eight weeks.”
This press release should be read in conjunction with the full engagement document which outlines the proposals in more detail and gives information on how people can submit their views online, in writing or face-to-face – read HERE
Views should be submitted by 5 p.m. on 9 September 2016. All submitted views will be independently assessed and published, with decisions on these proposals expected to be announced at the September meetings in public of the CCGs’ governing bodies
These proposals refer to the areas covered by the NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk and NHS West Suffolk clinical commissioning group areas only.
Where we will be for face to face feedback: