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Health bosses lose control of finances after overspend

Article by Callum Wood of National Health Executive

NHS bosses in East Sussex have been stripped of control and placed under ’legal directions’ by NHS England over the way hundreds of millions of pounds is spent.

Hailsham and Seaford, the two Clinical Commissioning Groups serving Hastings and Rother and Eastbourne, have a combined annual budget of more than £600m to spend on local health services.

This has led to the overspending of £37m in the last finical year.

The NHS hospitals trust that runs Eastbourne District General Hospital and the Conquest in St Leonards is also in financial trouble, finishing the year with a £57m deficit.

Health bosses on the West Sussex coast were placed under legal directions in March 2017, with the same move taken in Crawley and Horsham in November.

Brighton and Hove spent a year in legal directions from August 2016.

Amanda Philpott, chief officer at East Sussex Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: ‘’Demand is increasing, the cost of services is increasing, and the level of inflation in our budget hasn't increased at the same level. So this year, after four years of managing within our budgets, this year we overspent."


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