NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) began commissioning healthcare on behalf of the local community on April 1 with a clean bill of health and no requirement of on-going national support.

Every community in England is now covered by one of 211 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), which will be led by GPs and will plan and commission hospital, community health and mental health services on behalf of their local areas. Together, CCGs will be responsible for £65 billion of the £95 billion NHS commissioning budget.

They were authorised by NHS England (formerly the NHS Commissioning Board) to take on their functions, following a rigorous assessment process, in four “waves”. Groups of CCGs were authorised in December, January, February and March.

NHS England has now reviewed the progress made by CCGs in the first three waves of authorisation. This has resulted in an additional 63 CCGs becoming fully authorised, bringing the total to 106.

Dr Amanda Doyle, Chief Clinical Officer for Blackpool CCG, said: “Work to achieve authorisation has been on-going since the changes were announced in 2010. There has been a lot of hard work behind the scenes both from the outgoing Primary Care Trust and the clinicians who have formed the CCG. I am really happy that we are now able to put all this work into practice so we can focus on getting the best health services possible for the residents of Blackpool.”

Dame Barbara Hakin, National Director for Commissioning Development at NHS England, said: “Thanks to the dedication shown by the leaders of CCGs all over England, most have established themselves extremely well, and all will continue to develop and mature over the coming months and years. It is vital that they are as robust and capable as possible, with appropriate support where improvement is needed, as they are set to take on great responsibilities, controlling the lion’s share of the NHS commissioning budget.”