In an unprecedented move, NHS England has now placed NHS Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group in special measures, indicating that it has grave concerns across the breadth of the Group’s operations. 

The special measures regime, which forms part of the CCG Assurance Framework, is designed to offer a structure for measured performance improvement overseen by NHS England while allowing the CCG to remain accountable for its functions. 

As such, a ‘turnaround team’ was recently sent into the Group to help address some of the core challenges it faces and improve its financial position, which is on track for an in-year deficit of some £10.6 million.

Now the CCG is officially in special measures the initial focus will be on: producing a financial recovery plan’ setting up an external capacity and capability review, which will feed an overall improvement plan; and recruitment of a turnaround team.

Weekly financial review meetings with the NHS England Director of Commissioning Operations for North Midlands and monthly meetings with the Regional Director are also to take place, the CCG was told in a letter from NHS England.

But Gill George, chair of the Group, recently told local publication the Evesham Journal: “The real problem is that there isn’t enough money coming into Shropshire’s NHS in the first place”. 

“Funding policy discriminates against rural areas and discriminates against areas with an older population. This means that Shropshire loses out twice”.