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Health authority put into special measures as NHS England judges it as inadequate

PUBLISHED: 15:47 27 September 2017 | UPDATED: 17:07 27 September 2017

Melanie Craig. Picture: GREAT YARMOUTH AND WAVENEY CCG

Melanie Craig. Picture: GREAT YARMOUTH AND WAVENEY CCG

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An East Anglian health authority has admitted it failed to perform after money problems and issues with leadership plunged it into special measures.

NHS England told Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) it had been rated inadequate in Ofsted-style ratings, which were introduced by the health secretary Jeremy Hunt last year.

CCG chief officer Melanie Craig said the organisation needed to do better and take control of its finances.

Writing to Ms Craig, NHS England regional director Paul Watson said: “The CCG missed its control target by £7m in 2016/17.” But he did recognise the CCG was predicting to be on track financially for 2017/18. And he added: “The CCG has taken recent action to strengthen the leadership.” Now, the organisation will need to stick to a strict improvement plan and be overseen by a turnaround director.

Ms Craig said: “We recognise our performance during 2016/17 was not good enough. We need to do better for local people and are already making improvements.

“This includes strengthening primary care provision, driving improvements for people with mental health conditions and increasing our efforts to make sure people receive better support which is tailored to their individual wishes at the end of their lives. It is also vital for us to gain a better grip of our finances so that we can meet our duty to balance our books.”

As well as the overall rating, the CCG was judged on three clinical priority areas - cancer, mental health, and dementia. For cancer, the CCG was rated good, but for the remaining two areas it was deemed as inadequate.

Ms Craig said: “Making sure local people have good access to consistent and high quality mental health services is a personal priority for me. We are already working closely with Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust to address issues. We also appreciate the importance of diagnosing dementia as quickly as possible and regularly reviewing care plans so people with the condition receive the best possible care. It is also important to note these assessments provide a snapshot of whether a CCG is meeting national ambitions; they do not provide a comprehensive reflection of quality of care.”

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