GPs backed to run local NHS
TWO GP-led bodies in North Staffordshire are among the first in Britain to be allowed to take over the running of their local NHS next April.
Separate Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) covering Stoke-on-Trent and then Newcastle and the Staffordshire Moorlands have been authorised by the Department of Health.
They will replace the area's two primary care trusts, which will be abolished under the Government's health reforms.
Both groups have been operating in shadow form for months and using executive powers to spend millions of pounds of public money to commission services.
The CCGs are among the first 34 groups nationally to win authorisation, with the rest of the country's 200 still awaiting approval.
Milton GP Dr Andrew Bartlam, chief accountable officer of the city group, said: "This is a great achievement, particularly in a health economy which is facing significant challenges."
Dr Mark Shapley, chairman of North Staffordshire CCG, added: "We have received fantastic support from our member GP practices, clinicians and staff."