Lewisham clinicians have been given the green light to take control of the local NHS budget, following an announcement today by the NHS Commissioning Board (NHS CB).
NHS Lewisham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is one of 67 emerging CCGs authorised in the second wave of the national authorisation process. Thirty four CCGs were authorised in the ‘first wave’, announced in December 2012. The remaining 110 CCGs will be authorised in two remaining waves in February and March 2013.
Authorisation is a rigorous process designed to ensure that the new CCGs are ready to take on their statutory role of commissioning health services for patients in their local communities from April 2013. The robust assessment tests CCGs against a set of 119 criteria and involves a wide range of expert assessors.
NHS Lewisham CCG will formally take responsibility for commissioning hospital, community and mental health services for local people from April 2013, overseeing a budget of approximately £364million. It has been operating in shadow form since April 2012.
Strategic priority areas for NHS Lewisham CCG for 2013/14 include:
- Healthy living for all areas of the population
- Supporting older, frail and vulnerable people
- People with long term conditions
Dr Helen Tattersfield, Chair of Lewisham CCG, said: “We are delighted to get the green light for authorisation. Clinicians and staff have worked hard over the last year so that we can commission the best services for local people. We look forward to demonstrating that we can be a highly effective organisation and serve the people of Lewisham from April 2013“.
“Clinical commissioning allows local health professionals the freedom to respond, innovate and develop services in the way that best meets the needs of local people. Through this the NHS will be better able to deliver improvements in health outcomes and quality for patients and communities”.
Martin Wilkinson, Chief Officer for NHS Lewisham CCG said: “Today’s announcement is a vote of confidence for Lewisham CCG. We are grateful to all our GPs, partners and staff who have helped us to reach this important milestone. It is our priority that we continue to work together and with local residents and patients to improve health and health services for people in Lewisham”.
The authorisation process has been developed with the input of CCGs and other stakeholder organisations. It is designed to be supportive and developmental for CCGs as well as to assure their safety to carry out their commissioning role.
On the outcomes summary document published by the NHS Commissioning Board, it identifies that Lewisham has one condition on its authorisation which is to provide further assurance that the CCG has all appropriate arrangements for safeguarding in place. The Governing Body of the CCG has developed a framework to provide assurance that all duties and obligations in relation to safeguarding in Lewisham are delivered. The framework, which will be reviewed in April, is available on the website at www.selondon.nhs.uk/lewisham. The CCG is confident that this condition will be discharged in the early part of 2013.