Pioneering doctors get the green light

Dr Matt Walsh'Accountable officer, Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Executive
Dr Matt Walsh'Accountable officer, Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Executive
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The group of decision-making doctors set to run the NHS in Calderdale is among the first in the country to receive formal authorisation.

The Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has been given the green light to take control of the NHS budget by the NHS Commisioning Board.

The board approved a total of 34 groups nationally in its first wave of authorisation.

From April 2013, a total of 221 CCGs will be responsible for spending the £65m health budget.

To recieve authorisation, Calderdale CCG completed a rigorous five-month assessment and will now plan and commission hospital, community health and mental health services on behalf of some its community.

The Calderdale CCG was authorised with one condition, to fully complete an integrated plan which bosses say will be done by March.

Dr Matt Walsh, designate chief officer of Calderdale CCG, said: “We are pleased to receive formal authorisation from the NHS Commissioning Board – it signifies an important milestone in a journey in which we have already made considerable progress. It is also recognition of where we have got to and our commitment to making services the best that they can be for people in Calderdale.”

Calderdale CCG said its local priorites will be: to prevent people dying prematurely - including cancer screening, diagnosis and public education, access to mental health care; enhancing the quality of life for those with long-term conditions - including working with care homes and support for carers; and helping people recover and maintain their independence.

Sir David Nicholson, the NHS Commissioning Board’s chief executive, said: “The creation of CCGs is a great opportunity for the NHS that will have real benefits for patients. In future, the vast majority of decisions about how we use the public’s money will be made in the community by the clinicians who are closest to the needs of the people they look after.

“They have the knowledge and expertise to lead the improvements in services that we all want to see. We are determined to push power to the front line where talented clinicians and their teams can make a real difference.”

CCGs were set up by the Health and Social Care Act 2012.

From April they replace 152 PCTs which currently commission healthcare services.

They are independent statutory bodies, governed by their members which are GP practices in the area.

Calderdale CCG has 27 member practices covering a population 213,000.

The NHS Commissioning Board is responsible for making sure CCGs meet and maintain standards.

Authorisation is granted after experts have reviewed the CCG’s policies, carried out site visits, interviewed its leaders and assessed its work with stakeholders and patients.