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Changes to CCG funding based on local needs

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NHS England published the funding allocations that clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) will receive over the next two years (2014/2015 and 2015/2016), based on a new funding formula aimed at tackling health inequalities.

The new formula for local commissioning has been based on more accurate detailed data and includes a deprivation measure, says NHS England.

Areas with fast growing populations and the most underfunded areas will receive more.

Funding for NHS commissioners will rise from £96bn to £100bn over the next two years, so despite wider public sector budget cuts the NHS will be protected from inflation.

The new funding formula will also apply to primary care.

At an NHS England board meeting in December, it was suggested that the changes to the way in which funding levels for local heath services are worked out would help ensure that funding matched the needs of local populations.

Paul Baumann, chief financial officer for NHS England, said: 'We must ensure funding is equitable and fair and we have used the review period to ensure that funding is based on up-to-date and detailed information and it takes into account the three main factors in healthcare needs: population growth, deprivation and the impact of an ageing population.'

Louise Patten, the chief officer of NHS Aylesbury Vale CCG and a district nurse, says that these changes would allow primary care nurses to work towards improving integration with services.

'The new funding formula now takes into account the ageing population and the prevalence of long-term conditions. Primary care nurses are the experts in managing long-term chronic conditions and so they will hopefully benefit from this. They can get involved in developing the pilots for integration, to reduce admissions to hospitals.

'CCGs are now recognising the importance of improving primary care and they want to be able to contract with hospitals and secondary care to reduce hospital admissions.'

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