Tough decisions for new health group

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A NEW group will have to make “tough decisions” on the provision of health services in Warrington from April 1 within a limited £223 million budget.
Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will manage all services for the town’s population of 208,000.
CCG, led by local GPs, takes over when primary care trusts end next week and will plan and commission healthcare in Warrington. CCG took over responsibility for services from April 1 2011, so has been making decisions about local healthcare with delegated responsibility for two years.
From April 1, it will formally become a statutory NHS body, enabling the 26 member GP practices to drive forward change and improvements to transform local healthcare.
Local GP and chair of Warrington CCG Dr Andy Davies (pictured right) said: “The future is tough and we have to be realistic. We have a limited NHS budget of £233 million to buy the whole range of healthcare services – hospital, mental health and community services – for a Warrington population of 208,000.
“We’ve already had to make some difficult decisions and have more to make in the future. Our focus is on finding ways to deliver quality and value-for-money healthcare services when and where people want them. To do this, we’re committed to involving local people in helping us make decisions and shape their services.”
Warrington CCG has a good record and was named the Health Service Journal Commissioning Organisation of the Year 2012 and won the Most Advanced CCG award at the National Association of Primary Care Vision Awards.
It works closely with Warrington Borough Council and the main healthcare providers, Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust. It also tries to work with neighbouring CCGs on shared outcomes where possible.
Dr Davies said: “We’ve already proved ourselves able to make changes to improve health outcomes for our patients. For example, following a review, we have taken measures to improve services provided to patients with long term respiratory conditions which reduced the number of people needing care in hospital.
“It’s clear from the outcomes of this project that by having an overview of healthcare services in Warrington we can use our knowledge and skills to improve services and make a difference to the health of local people.”

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