NHS Redditch and Bromsgrove Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has received the green light to take control of the local NHS budget, following an announcement by the NHS Commissioning Board.

A summary document released by the board shows that Redditch and Bromsgrove CCG has been authorised without any conditions in in the ‘second wave’ of authorisations.

This means the CCG has met all 119 criteria set out during a rigorous assessment process which involved reviewing its policies, visiting its staff, interviewing its leaders and assessing the work it is doing, and plans to do in the future, with stakeholders and patients.

The new statutory body, which was set up in shadow form early last year, will take full responsibility for commissioning hospital, community and mental health services for local people from April 1, overseeing a budget of approximately £182 million.

Local GP Dr Jonathan Wells, chair and clinical leader of Redditch and Bromsgrove CCG, said: “Having decisions about health services being driven by local clinicians will bring benefits to local people. We are delighted to gain authorisation and look forward to continuing to work with local people to improve our health services and will be innovative in our approach to commissioning.

“Over the next year our key priorities include tackling increasing emergency admissions; securing the best possible range of community services; reducing health inequalities across Redditch and Bromsgrove and maximising our ‘Virtual Ward’ for patients who would otherwise have needed to be admitted into hospital.”

“We will also be launching our patients and public membership scheme to engage a representative proportion of the local community in our commissioning activity.”

The CCG is made up of 22 Redditch and Bromsgrove GP practices with an elected board of local GPs, a secondary care specialist (hospital doctor) and executive nurse member.

CCGs will replace Primary Care Trusts currently responsible for commissioning healthcare services and will be independent statutory bodies within the NHS, accountable to their membership which consists of all of the GP practices in the area.

For more details, see www.redditchandbromsgroveccg.nhs.uk.