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Fighting NHS Cuts: Exposing the Capped Expenditure Process (CEP)

by Incisive Health for 38 Degrees

Summary of work

In April 2017, national NHS leaders wrote to local NHS organisations in 14 areas across England, informing them that they had been identified for inclusion in the Capped Expenditure Process (CEP), which identified £250 million of cuts to be made to local NHS services. Measures included closing wards and services, systematically extending waiting times, and rationing or stopping some treatments.

38 Degrees – a grass roots campaigning organisation – was concerned that the CEP was being used to draw up changes to NHS services behind closed doors, and launched a campaign to bring the CEP to the attention of policymakers, and to fight the imposition of the CEP. The campaign shone a light on the CEP process through national and local media coverage, drawing the attention of parliamentarians – particularly those whose local NHS services were affected, empowering MPs to hold the Government to account for the CEP.

As a direct result of our campaign, some CCGs published details of the plans under the CEP, while others reversed their plans and changed their approach – launching public consultations on their proposed savings. Political scrutiny forced NHS leaders to abandon the CEP ‘brand’, demonstrating the political impact of the campaign.

Judges’ comments

The judges really liked this simple and straight forward campaign. It is no easy challenge trying to dig into the NHS England changes that are being pushed through and Incisive Health and 38 degrees managed to promote debate and encourage NHS England to re-brand.