A SECOND clinical commissioning group in Yorkshire has had restrictions on its operations lifted by health chiefs nine months after its launch.
NHS England imposed conditions on the operation of the GP-led NHS Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) when it was formed in April.
The move was linked mainly to long-standing concerns over NHS finances in North Yorkshire which has been beset by financial problems for a decade leaving it requiring £100m in extra support.
Now the group, which is responsible for identifying and commissioning health services on behalf 117,000 people in the Scarborough and Ryedale area, says it has successfully satisfied all requirements imposed upon it and will now have greater independence in commissioning services locally.
Similar restrictions, based also on concerns about its capacity to deliver savings and efficiencies, have also been lifted on NHS Vale of York CCG which commissions services for 300,000 people, enabling them to also take greater control over their running.
Family doctor Phil Garnett, clinical chairman of the Scarborough and Ryedale CCG, said: “It’s great news that our organisation has reached this important milestone which is a reflection of the hard work and determination of our staff.
“At our initial authorisation assessment in February 2012, a small number of issues were identified which meant we had to develop improvement plans in order to have them lifted.
“These mainly related to our financial capability and the historic debt we inherited from our predecessors.
“Achieving full authorisation is an encouraging step forward on our journey of continuous improvement.
“However it is important for us to remain focused on developing our organisation beyond the requirements of authorisation.
“We will continue to strive towards achieving our vision to improve the health and wellbeing of people living in Scarborough and Ryedale.”
The latest projection from the CCG is that it will end the 12 months to March with a surplus of £1.5m.
Among its priorities are plans to enhance community services to reduce demand on hospital services, aimed in particular at improving the care of the elderly.