• NHS England lifts legal directions for three clinical commissioning groups
  • North Cumbria, North Tyneside and Walsall CCGs told earlier this month directions were being lifted
  • Follows them submitting improvement plans to NHS England

National leaders have lifted the legal directions for three formerly struggling clinical commissioning groups.

NHS England confirmed it removed the legal directions for North Cumbria, North Tyneside and Walsall CCGs earlier this month.

The CCGs were given legal directions in 2016 after being rated inadequate.

North Tyneside and Walsall were also placed in financial special measures during the “reset” in July 2016. North Tyneside was taken out of special measures in January 2017, followed by Walsall in April.

The legal directions for all three focused on the CCGs getting a handle on their finances. They were required to submit improvement plans to NHS England, which has decided enough progress has been made to remove the directions.

The national commissioning body told North Tyneside to review its governance and implement a recovery plan, while Walsall has had discussions to set up joint management arrangements with another CCG.

Newcastle Gateshead CCG chief officer Mark Adams was appointed to the same role at North Tyneside last year as part of a joint leadership arrangement.

Walsall CCG’s accountable officer is now Paul Maubach, chief officer with Dudley CCG, and both are part of a joint commissioning committee with Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG and Wolverhampton CCG. The four are working towards a “single management structure”.

North Cumbria CCG was formed following the split of Cumbria CCG, with the practices in the south of the county joining Lancashire North to create Morecambe Bay CCG.

It is part of the former west, north and east Cumbria success regime, which has led to a series of hospital reforms.

NHS England said the legal directions for North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCGs will no longer apply when they merge in April.