Intended for healthcare professionals


From cost cutting to conversation: how two CCGs and a hospitals trust turned financial deficit into communication bonus

BMJ 2018; 360 doi: (Published 23 January 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k306
  1. Fran Robinson, freelance journalist, Hampshire, UK
  1. fran.robinson8{at}

An enforced process to reduce spending in Central Cheshire has had the surprise benefit of improving relationships between primary and secondary care, reports Fran Robinson

When the NHS health systems in Central Cheshire were put into an enforced cost cutting programme, the leaders of the clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and hospitals trust involved felt like they were being punished.

“When we went into the CEP [capped expenditure process] we felt we were on the naughty step,” says Murray Luckas, deputy medical director at Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, of being placed into the CEP, an NHS England and NHS Improvement programme introduced in April to manage costs in areas that were overspending their share of the NHS budget.

Nine months later, it has been such a success in Central Cheshire—not just in financial savings but also in resolving the differences between the …

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