NHS England lift legal directions for quality of leadership at three clinical commissioning group

Three CCGs within the Central Sussex and East Surrey Commissioning Alliance have had legal directions related to quality of leadership lifted by NHS England, just ten months after moving to a shared Accountable Officer and Executive Team.

Crawley, East Surrey and Horsham and Mid Sussex CCGs have been praised by NHS England for the significant improvements that have been made to the governance, capability and capacity of the organisations.

The legal directions in place related to the financial performance of each of the CCGs will remain as the organisations continue to work through the delivery of their recovery plan to address the significant financial challenges they each face.

Legal directions means a CCG is given additional support by NHS England and has less control over the decisions and the work it carries out. East Surrey CCG first had legal directions applied in 2015, while Crawley and Horsham and Mid Sussex CCGs were placed under legal directions 12 months ago. Governance reviews of each organisation took place earlier this year and many of the issues that were raised have already been addressed.

Crawley and Horsham and Mid Sussex CCGs started working under a single management structure in January 2018 as part of the Commissioning Alliance, with East Surrey joining three months later.

A joint statement from Dr Laura Hill, Dr Elango Vijaykumar and Dr Minesh Patel, Clinical Chairs of Crawley, East Surrey and Horsham and Mid Sussex CCGs respectively, said: “This is extremely positive for our CCGs and will put is in a stronger position to work more effectively and address the challenges we collectively face. It is recognition of the hard work and improvements that have been made and is a clear endorsement of the positive changes we have made in how our organisations now work as an Alliance of CCGs. To achieve this just ten months after our organisations started collaborating is a significant achievement and reflects the level of grip, rigour and clear ways of working that are set by the leadership we now have in place.”

Shared Accountable Officer Adam Doyle said: “We have made significant progress over the last ten months and, as we look to work closer with all CCGs across Sussex and East Surrey, we now have the opportunity to look at how we can commission even more effectively for our populations. We still have a way to go to get to where we want to be, particularly around our finances, and we will continue to work hard to ensure we fulfil our commitment to getting our organisations into a more financially sustainable position. However, the lifting of these directions is a significant achievement and is a big step in the right direction on the improvement journey we are on.”

Felicity Cox, NHS England Director of Commissioning Operations for Kent, Surrey, Sussex said: “We recognise the significant progress that all the CCGs have made in improving and strengthening the CCGs leadership, governance and the grip that has been achieved. There is still the need for significant progress around the financial recovery of the organisations and we are continuing to work with them to achieve this.”