East Surrey CCG has been placed under ‘legal directions’ – after struggling to cope with ‘ongoing financial challenges’.
The NHS body commissions health care services in Tandridge, Reigate, Redhill and Horley – including Sussex and Surrey Healthcare Trust, which runs East Surrey Hospital.
NHS England will now have more control over the CCG, monitor its progress and approve its finance and service plans.
Dr Elango Vijaykumar, chairman of NHS East Surrey Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “East Surrey CCG appreciates this acknowledgement by NHS England of the very significant challenges we face.
“We have delivered to NHS England ambitious plans for our financial recovery and we have undertaken significant work to increase the organisation’s capacity and strengthen our ability to deliver.
“We have faced significant financial challenges since our inception, which have continued to grow as a result of increased demand for healthcare. “In spite of these challenges, we have worked with our partners to put patients first and deliver high quality care for local people.”
The CCG currently has a deficit of more than £20million which has more than doubled in the past two years.
Dr Vijaykumar said the CCG remains in the top 20 per cent for ‘clinical quality outcomes’ and the best in the country for reducing the amount of time people unnecessarily spend in hospital.
He added: “We would like to acknowledge the strenuous efforts made by our member practices and our central team to deliver these outcomes in challenged circumstances.
“We can only deliver financial recovery with significant transformation of local health services, which cannot be done in isolation. This absolutely requires collaborative working with our neighbouring commissioners and acute, community and social care providers, as well as with NHS England.”
An NHS England South spokesperson said: “For a significant period, NHS East Surrey Clinical Commissioning Group has had serious financial challenges and we have decided that the best approach at this time is to support them using statutory directions.
“This will enable us to put our oversight arrangements on a formal basis and to monitor progress closely.
“The issuing of directions will also trigger additional support for the CCG as well as authorising actions to recover the financial position and to strengthen senior capacity.
“Powers of direction can bring about real positive change, and so we are confident this step will help to ensure patients in east Surrey continue to receive high quality standards of care.”
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