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New CCG for whole of Shropshire will start with a ‘clean slate’

By Lisa O'Brien | Shrewsbury | Health | Published:

The new organisation that will be responsible for buying NHS services for the whole of Shropshire is not expected to start out in special measures, health bosses say.

There are plans to dissolve Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Groups in favour of creating a single organisation from April next year.

Shropshire CCG was placed in special measures in November 2015 so it could receive help from external experts to tackle its growing deficit.

Speaking at Shropshire CCG's AGM, David Stout, the group's interim accountable officer, said the new organisation is not expected to have to operate under special measures but there will be an assessment by NHS England.

He said: "I don't think the new organisation simply inherits the old designation. I can't guarantee there will be a new designation."

Dr Julian Povey, chair of Shropshire CCG, added: "We will start with a clean slate and there will be an assessment of the capabilities."

Finances

Claire Skidmore, chief finance officer, said Shropshire CCG had been allocated £455m to spend on a population of about 311,000 people in 2018/19, but ended up spending £472m.

She said nearly half of that amount was spent on acute services, predominantly on those provided by Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), but also on other hospitals outside the immediate area.

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More than £100m was spent on primary care services, while £45m was spent on community services.

Ms Skidmore said current times were still financially challenging, and added: "One of our key areas of focus is about making sure when we do make decisions we are trying not to just pass a financial problem around the system."

Mr Stout said the level of savings that had been delivered without damaging the quality of care were 'really impressive'.

He added: "Our goal has to be to build on that and continue to drive forward improvements as we go forward."

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Mr Stout said there had also been a number of achievements over the past year and the CCG was addressing a 'significant' overspend in complex and continuing healthcare.

He said 2018/19 had also seen a significant reduction in the number of people staying in hospital longer than they need to, and the CCG is working with SaTH to address the huge demand on A&E services.

Dr Povey also praised staff saying, despite challenging financial circumstances, the CCG is 'full of individuals striving to improve healthcare in Shropshire'.

Lisa O'Brien

By Lisa O'Brien
Senior Reporter - @lisaobrien_Star

Senior reporter based at Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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