CCGs consider sweeping restrictions to plug £25m hole

A group of clinical commissioning groups in the Midlands have outlined proposals for wide ranging restrictions to NHS services in order to close a £25m funding gap.

The ideas include restricting access to knee and hip operations, no longer providing hearing aids for people with mild hearing loss, and restricting access to some treatments “for patients who have unhealthy lifestyles”.

Redditch and Bromsgrove, South Worcestershire and Wyre Forest CCGs said they would spend £25m more than their combined budgets in 2016-17 if they did not make changes.

The CCGs said they needed to “find ways of reducing costs in some areas… to protect other essential services”.

The groups are carrying out a survey of the changes they are considering, but stressed they were “just ideas” and no decisions had yet been made.

Full story in The Health Services Journal 21 March 2016