Bedfordshire health body out of special measures

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NHS England has removed special measures on Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group after it delivered on an improvement plan to stabilise its finances and put the organisation on a firmer footing.

Bedfordshire’s health body was placed under ‘legal directions’ in 2015 after it delivered a £42 million uncontrolled loss over the previous two years.

The ‘legal directions’ meant a new Accountable Officer and Executive team was appointed and the organisation was closely scrutinised to ensure better financial management corporate governance was put in place.

The organisation also increased its clinical leadership, appointing a number of clinicians, including a new chair to the health body, to ensure that all decisions were made with patients in mind.

Dr Alvin Low, chairman of Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We are delighted that NHS England has lifted ‘legal directions’.

“It is a resounding endorsement of the hard work and commitment shown by the Executive team and our staff over the last two years.

“Much work has been done to steady the ship and strengthen the organisation, while ensuring that we continue to deliver quality health care services to residents in Bedfordshire.”

This year, Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group delivered a surplus for the first time since it was created in 2013, whilst also paying back some of the deficit it accrued in the previous two years.

Dr Low added: “While this is terrific news, we need to be mindful of challenges ahead, especially in terms of managing our finances when our population is growing in size and need.

“However, this process has made us a stronger and more resilient organisation than we were before and we will continue to work hard to make a difference to the health of the communities we serve in Bedfordshire.”