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Your spotlight on local services

Locally accountable health services in Hackney ‘under threat’

30/06/2017

NHS England is pressing for a ‘single accountable officer’ to take charge of seven clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in north east London in a move likely to signal the end of locally accountable health services in Hackney.

Councillors raised concerns about the plans at the Health in Hackney scrutiny commission and the Inner East London Joint Scrutiny Overview Health Commission which both met in June.

Hackney's health scrutiny commission has also written to the City and Hackney CCG asking it not to agree to the proposal.

Currently, London’s 32 CCGs each have accountability links to local councils. Under the proposal, the capital would end up with just four CCG clusters.

Hackney’s health scrutiny commissioners fear the arrangement will make it impossible to hold NHS services to account on important decisions affecting local patients.

CCG chair Dr Claire Highton has also warned of 'potential risks'.

She told Hackney's new integrated commissioning board: 'CCGs remain statutory organisations with statutory responsibilities to account for their financial allocation.

'But a north east London-wide governance construct could seek to move funding to other parts of the system to address financial pressures.'

Hackney councillors on the Inner East London Joint Scrutiny Overview Health Commission have asked for a more detailed proposal to be brought back to its meeting in September.

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