A struggling clinical commissioning group has become the first in the country to be taken out of financial special measures.

North Tyneside CCG was placed in the regime and rated inadequate by NHS England during the “reset” last July.

The CCG confirmed to HSJ last week it was taken out of special measures at the end of January, though it remains under the legal directions imposed by the national body in September.

The directions said the CCG must finish 2016-17 with a deficit of no more than £19m and set out how it will remain in recurrent balance after that.

While the CCG said it is forecasting to break even in 2016-17, it is still carrying forward a £19.3 cumulative deficit from prior years.

Clinical chair John Matthews said the decision to remove the CCG from special measures showed “confidence” in its leadership, which has recently been bolstered with the appointment of a shared accountable officer from its neighbour Newcastle Gateshead CCG, which is rated outstanding.

Mark Adams will take over at North Tyneside next month, but both CCGs will remain independent statutory organisations.

Dr Matthews added: “Of nine CCGs placed in special measures in July 2016, North Tyneside is the first to see special measures lifted by NHS England.

“This is an important step forward, showing the progress we have made in developing a strong financial recovery plan and strengthening substantive management capacity within the CCG.

“The financial pressures resulted from a combination of long term factors including a historic overreliance on hospital care, but the CCG is forecast to break even in-year, and reach its financial control target for 2016-17.”

In July 2016, NHS England and NHS Improvement said the CCG should “review its governance, to act on the findings of the review and implement a financial recovery plan”.

The CCG’s permanent chief officer Maurya Cushlow left last February and was succeeded by interim chief officer Janet Soo-Chung.