THE financial position of the NHS in York has worsened - with leaders facing a potential debt of almost £22million by the end of the year.

In June, The Press reported how Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group was planning to have a deficit of £13.35 million but that a recovery plan would mean the organisation would be back in the black by 2020.

However, the financial situation is £4.85 million worse than bosses were predicting in April and recent reports have shown the organisation could overspend by £8.6 million by the end of the year, causing an end of year debt of £21.95 million. While the CCG is working on a financial plan to balance the books, the report even suggests a worst case scenario could see the CCG fall into about £33million of debt.

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The CCG - which commissions and pays for health services in the city - is currently in special measures and is being closely overseen by NHS England after it was rated inadequate for its leadership, finances, planning and performance.

It has said the financial position has been caused by "severe financial pressures within local health and care system".

A plan on how to address the debt is being drawn up by commissioners to be presented to NHS England in the coming weeks.

Helen Hirst, the interim accountable officer for Vale of York CCG, told a meeting of the governing body the organisation is now being closely monitored.

"Once we get into this position, NHS England need to be in our decision making processes," she said.

"NHS England have got one of their staff working with us - we are actually being scrutinised on a daily basis.

"It does bring a different feel in terms of how much freedom we have. We will get to a point when we can demonstrate we can make our own decisions. It's important to recognise we are not on our own anymore."

York Press:

According to a report presented to the governing body additional costs have come from a £1.33million gap in spending at York Hospital trust, which has an additional 1.6million 'variance' due to taking on more patients than expected in the orthopaedic department and having more non-elective admissions than expected.

A further £400,000 was spent on providing an interim measure following the closure of Bootham Park Hospital. Meanwhile, the closure of Peppermill Court to elderly patients with complex needs, so it could be converted to an interim mental health hospital, has cost £160,000 in out of contract mental health places.

A spokesperson for Vale of York CCG said: “Following the receipt of legal directions, the CCG is working closely with NHS England to formulate an improvement plan which will incorporate a finance recovery plan to address severe financial pressures within local health and care system.

“Work to respond to the directions has already begun via the appointment of a new Accountable Officer, Phil Mettam.

“The focus now is to address capacity, capability, financial governance and recovery issues and the CCG is working closely with its partners to do this to help achieve financial sustainability in the Vale of York.”