A HEALTH body could be facing a deficit of £1m following the outbreak of a deadly bacterial infection which has claimed 14 lives.

The Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, says it does not yet know the full financial impact the outbreak of invasive Group A Streptococcus in Braintree, Maldon and Chelmsford will have on its work, but documents suggest it will be "in the region" of £1m.

The CCG carried out a deep clean of community nursing stations following confirmation of the outbreak back in June.

Wound swabs were also being taken from patients and nurses were issued with both antibiotics and protective clothing to ensure the infection did not spread further.

Board papers outlining the deficit facing the CCG state recovery action is being reviewed but it is "possible" the body will be unable to "recover the full gap".

The news will be a blow to health bosses who have been tasked with saving up to £4.04m this financial year.

A spokesman said: “The CCG is still assessing the costs from leading the incident management for the iGAS outbreak.

"The CCG will need to cover both the costs it has directly incurred and will need to support our community provider with additional costs they have incurred. This figure is still being finalised. "There are no additional resources available to the CCG to cover these costs so savings will need to be made from elsewhere in the CCG’s budget."

An independent review into the outbreak of strep A in mid Essex is continuing and the results aren't expected to be produced until March next year.

No new cases of strep A have been reported in the past two weeks

The outbreak started in Braintree back in February this year when two cases were reported.

The CCG says the majority of cases in having occurred in the CM7 postcode area and most of those affected had been receiving treatment for chronic wounds in their own homes.

Some cases were also reported in care homes.

A total of 37 people are thought to have been affected so far, including two in West Essex.

Anyone with concerns is asked to contact the freephone helpline on 03000 032124.