A DORSET health chief has admitted work needs to be done to find millions of pounds after the county lost out in a reallocation of NHS funding.

The NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) says it has to find an extra £8.5million next year following national changes to the pricing of the healthcare system.

Chief officer Tim Goodson said that the figure was initially more than £10.5m and arose out of changes to the system proposed by NHS Improvement and NHS England.

It would have seen the price at which the CCG purchased services from local providers, such as hospitals, reduced by £10.5million but, instead of being kept by the CCG and spent elsewhere in the local health system, the NHS announced that this year the funds were to be reallocated elsewhere in the country to areas that had been adversely affected by the changes in the pricing system.

Mr Goodson said that the net impact was that effectively £10.5million was to be lost from healthcare in Dorset.

He said that, following a letter from CCGs, the allocations had been revised and the figure was now more like £8.5m, but it still presented a massive challenge.

Mr Goodson said: “We are still in conversation and saying that is still a big amount we hadn’t planned for and weren’t aware of and that’s still real funding and cash coming out of the Dorset system.

“We are having to look at our plans again and saying ‘how do we find another £8.5m to cut?'”

Mr Goodson said that Dorset was one of the areas of the country set to lose out the most as a result of the reallocation.

The news of the reallocation was first revealed by CCG chairman Dr Forbes Watson at a health meeting in Lyme Regis and he insisted it would be challenged.

He said in previous years Dorset had been able to live within its means but that was no longer the case, and there would be a £160million deficit per year by 2021 if nothing was done.

Dr Watson said the population was predicted to rise by 50,000 by 2021 and 70 per cent of those will be over 70.

The CCG is currently carrying out its Clinical Services Review to look at how health services can be provided differently in the future.