On the 18th December 2013, NHS England announced the new budget allocations for Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) for the years 2014/15 and 2015/16. This followed the recent review of the allocation funding formula used to distribute the NHS budget among the population. But what are CCGs, what is their function and how much funding does my local CCG get?

From PCTs to CCGs

Prior to the creation of the current Clinical Commissioning Groups, health funding was allocated to Primary Care Trusts (PCTs). PCTs were responsible for commissioning health services from NHS providers and other organisations to ensure local health needs were met. PCTs were abolished by the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and responsibility for commissioning passed to CCGs from 1 April 2013.

In order to carry out these commissioning duties, NHS England provides each CCG with a ‘budget allocation’. However, CCG allocations are not directly comparable with PCT allocations; even if a CCG covers the same area as a PCT, CCGs have different commissioning responsibilities. For instance, in the new system, local authorities have greater responsibility for public health; previously such responsibility, and associated funding, resided with PCTs. Consequently funding levels for CCGs may be significantly different from PCTs.

How are CCGs funded?

Originally, the transfer from PCTs to CCGs was meant to coincide with a new funding formula as proposed by the Advisory Committee of Resource Allocation (ACRA). However there were concerns that these recommendations would mean less funding for CCGs in deprived areas and more funding for areas with a higher elderly population. This is because the new formula was designed to reflect age as a stronger determinant of need rather than deprivation. Therefore the formula has been reviewed by NHS England, who on 18 December 2013 announced their funding solution for the next two years.

NHS England states on their website that all CCGs will receive at least an increase in funding to match inflation; this is currently set at 2.14% for 2014/15 and 1.7% for 2015/16. In addition to this, all CCGs who are either deemed severely under target (i.e. underfunded) or estimated to have a large increase in population will receive an extra amount in funding; up to 2.8%.

The average CCG allocation per head for 2014/15 will be £1,333; constituting £64bn of total funding to CCGs.

You can find your local CCG budget allocation in the appendix of the Library’s note on CCG Funding (page 16).

The map below displays these allocations per head across England for 2014/15:

CCG Allocations per-head 2014/15(Click to enlarge)

Author: John Wood