Healthcare budgets are controlled at a local level by Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). They have to make difficult decisions about which treatments and programmes to pay for with the funds they receive from the government. Here are the factors that CCGs take into account when determining fund allocations.
What is CCG Funding?
Healthcare in the UK is paid for with funds from the government. How that money is spent is first determined by NHS organisations. They have to decide how much local CCGs are given each time budgets are drawn up.
There are 211 CCGs in England, each responsible for an average 226,000 people. However, this figure can fluctuate depending on where in the country you are. This makes budget decisions difficult as NHS England needs to ensure that funds are spread as evenly as possible.
Some of the factors that NHS England uses to determine the amount that CCGs receive are the funds they obtained in the previous budget, the average age of the local population and how deprived or affluent the local area is.
All of this information is considered when NHS England decides on a CCG’s budget. Of course, all CCGs would argue they need to receive more but the process tries to ensure everyone is treated equally.
How are CCG Funds Allocated?
Once CCGs have the funds, it’s up to them to decide what to do with them. They have to consider the needs of the local population, urgent improvements that need to be made to facilities and how to ensure as many people as possible are helped.
Occasionally, this can lead to unhappiness and disputes. Unfortunately, there just isn’t enough money available to fund every possible improvement, operation and medicine. CCGs need to make decisions that will have the widest impact on the local population and this can sometimes mean not funding certain things.
Patients can make individual funding requests if their treatment isn’t covered by CCG funds. The patient’s clinical need, the effectiveness of the treatment and ultimately how much it will cost are all considered before a decision is made.
What is a CCG’s Responsibility?
In addition to choosing how funding is allocated, CCGs monitor the quality of care provided at hospitals. They ensure that services are effective in meeting patient needs. To do this, it’s best practice for them to build partnerships with patients and the public. They need to carry out research to determine the issues that are having the biggest impact.
This is often difficult to do as some societal groups aren’t vocal about the problems they’re facing. It’s the role of CCGs to protect the needs of small, vulnerable and overlooked groups, making sure they have access to the same level of care and treatment as everyone else.
To ensure no group is missed or left behind, CCGs need to utilise media and communication channels effectively. Every member of the community should have a voice and it’s up to CCGs to hear them.
When approving new programmes or service improvements, CCGs need to identify the right external partners to work with. They’ll make decisions that benefit the whole community and this includes being part of the process to choose service providers.
They’re accountable for the performance of these services which is why it’s vital they carry out extensive research to understand the risks involved. Strategic planning and effective leadership will make the process easier and more likely to lead to a hospital working with the right partners.
Using CCG Funding to Improve GP Waiting Rooms
CCG funds are allocated with the aim of improving all aspects of community care. Funds are used to improve services that are accessed by all members of the local area, so projects need to have a wide-reaching impact on all visitors.
Visitors that can take advantage of excellent services are likely to have an overall more positive experience, reducing any possible friction that might occur with staff. One of the biggest issues causing unhappiness in communities is GP waiting times. Patients are having to wait around two weeks for an appointment and then when they do arrive they sometimes need to spend long periods in the waiting room.
Visitors are bored, frustrated and irritable. Providing entertainment in the form of a free WiFi network allows them to browse social media, send messages and stay entertained while they wait.
Once a reliable and robust WiFi network is installed, CCG funds can be utilised to give visitors access to 9,562 worldwide digital print titles. This is possible with SPARK® Media: Print, a platform that gives visitors access to the latest newspapers and magazines via their own devices.
Waiting rooms don’t usually offer the best selection of reading material. Newspapers are a few days old and the magazines have been used and touched by a lot of different visitors so there’s always the risk of contamination.
With SPARK® Media: Print, visitors can access the latest editions of Men’s Health, National Geographic, Total Film, The Daily Mail, The Guardian and more without worrying about who’s been reading before you.
Everything You Need to Know About SPARK® Media: Print
For more information on SPARK® Media: Print and the benefits it has for the whole community, click the link below. Did you know that at the same cost per month that you would pay to provide magazines for just six people, you'll provide access to every single patient, visitor and member of staff.