Plans for GPs to be in charge of NHS are officially approved
Plans to put doctors in charge of the National Health Service in Leicester and Leicestershire were officially approved today.
From April, clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), made up of GPs, will take over from primary care trust in running health care from hospitals to learning disability services.
There will be one CCG for the city and two for the county under the shake up.
The three CCGs have existed in a shadow form for some time, but have now been officially approved. The city's CCG will manage an annual £370 million budget.
Chairman Professor Azhar Farooqi said: "I strongly believe GPs and other clinicians are best placed to understand patients needs.
"The new way of working gives GPs a voice and the freedom to respond to patients needs with innovative services to improve quality of care."
The East Leicestershire and Rutland CCG comprises doctors from 34 practices in Melton, Rutland, Harborough, Blaby Lutterworth, Oadby and Wigston.
Its managing director, Dr David Briggs, said: "We are confident that we have developed a set of aims and plans that respond to the health needs of the local people.
"They include enhancing the quality of life for people with long-term conditions, delivering excellent community health services and improving the quality of primary care, as well as closer working between health and social care, and between acute, primary and community care."
Some 50 doctors make up the third CCG, which covers west Leicestershire and includes Hinckley and Bosworth, Charnwood, and North West Leicestershire.
Chairman Dr Nick Pulman said: "This is a major milestone on our way to tackling the area's healthcare needs more effectively, and shows how much has already been achieved as a result of GPs being in a new commissioning partnership which we see as involving GPs, fellow clinicians, experienced managers, social care and importantly patients in decision making.
"We have also involved patients more directly in shaping health care services, and as a result we have a growing number of patients in new and existing patient participation groups, based at surgeries.
"This has had a big influence on improvements, such as making healthcare more proactive, and the redevelopment of the walk-in centre at Loughborough."
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