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Surrey Downs GPs group given "full commissioning powers"
The Surrey Downs GPs who took over the buying of local healthcare services in April now has "full commissioning powers" it has announced.
Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Group (SDCCG) is responsible for commissioning healthcare for 290,000 people living in Epsom and Ewell, Mole Valley, Banstead and East Elmbridge and consists of 33 GP practices.
SDCCG, which took over from the NHS Surrey primary care trust, has a £314m budget to buy hospital, social care, ambulance and community services and mental health care.
It has had to face a number of major challenges in its first few months - including having to do a humiliating U-turn on its plan to decide its response to the controversial Better Services Better Value proposals at a public meeting at Epsom Downs Racecourse in May and pulling the plug on the Epsom Downs Integrated Care Services (Edics) run by its own doctors.
Yesterday’s "full authorisation announcement" means the CCG has now fulfilled all 119 criteria, following the removal of the CCG’s final two conditions which related to the organisation’s detailed commissioning and finance plans.
A spokeswoman said that following further work, and the submission of further evidence, NHS England has received the final assurance it needed, removing all conditions.
SDCCG’s chief officer Miles Freeman said: "We have come a long way in a very short space of time so it’s a real credit to our staff, and all their hard work.
"For us, the authorisation process was about taking the time to make sure we have the right systems in place to function effectively as an organisation so it’s something we took very seriously.
"We will continue to monitor how we operate and where we can further strengthen our processes to make sure we are continually improving and developing as an organisation."
Dr Claire Fuller, SDCCG’s clinical chair, added: "Six months into our new role we are already working with local doctors to deliver real improvements in patient care.
"We have many more plans for the future and will continue to work with our member practices, local people and our partners so that together we can really raise the standards of healthcare for local patients."
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