MEDICAL officials in South Gloucestershire, Bristol and North Somerset have outlined cuts of £66million in an attempt to ensure value for money for health services.

Proposals currently being developed by the clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) for the three counties will ensure there are affordable, high quality health services that meet the needs of close to one million people who live in the region.

The budget for NHS services in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire to 2018 is £1.15billion, with CCGs facing a legal requirement to keep spending within budgets.

Currently, many NHS organisations operate at a deficit, and the CCGs have warned that the same is likely to happen at a local level, with the deficit likely to grow if the rate of spending continues.

As a result the CCGs have committed to working together to achieve the necessary savings and improvements.

But the CCGs say that many of the proposals will have no impact on patients or the care and treatment they receive, and where they do, specific engagement programmes will be carried out to ensure patients and the public are directly involved.

Speaking on behalf of the three CCGs, Dr Martin Jones, clinical chairman of Bristol CCG said: “Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire is a vibrant, dynamic area with a growing and diverse population of nearly one million people.

“It is also home to a wide range of communities with varying health needs and a significant difference in life expectancy and levels of health. 

“Building on our recent work to move towards a single commissioning voice for Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, this formal commitment will enable us to work collectively to improve the health of the whole population, reduce health inequalities and ensure NHS services are fit for the long term. 

“This may involve some difficult decisions. But in order to protect the widest possible range of healthcare services for the broadest possible population, we will have to ask ourselves, and most importantly the people we serve, how we make the best use of resources to continue to meet local health needs.

“We look forward to working with partners, patients and the public to ensure they are involved to develop better, more sustainable healthcare services for the people of Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.”