WORKFORCE: Two leaders of a troubled North West clinical commissioning group have formally stepped down following a long period of absence.

Phil Jennings was chair of Wirral CCG and Abhi Mantgani was its chief clinical officer.

The two men temporarily “stepped away” from their duties in May to make way for an NHS England probe into serious leadership concerns at the CCG.

The review concluded in September that the relationship between the two men had exacerbated structural problems at the CCG.

“The CCG chair and [chief clinical officer] do not demonstrate the necessary close working agreement about what needs to change in the CCG… nor how the necessary leadership for this work would be provided between the two roles,” it said.

In a statement, Wirral CCG said Dr Jennings and Dr Mantgani had both “mutually agreed” with the CCG to stand down on a permanent basis.

The CCG said the NHS England review did “not cite any individual’s performance or capability as causative factors that the CCG needed to address” and that the adoption of a new CCG constitution “concluded any outstanding issues that pertain to the review”.

For this reason there was “no need for any action in relation to Dr Abhi Mantgani’s capability or performance in his role as CCO,” it added.

“The CCG would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the contribution of Dr Jennings and Dr Mantgani both in respect of the CCG and formerly with Wirral Primary Care Trust.”

As HSJ reported last week, John Wicks has joined Wirral CCG as interim chief executive and Pete Naylor, assistant clinical chair, remains interim chair.

The CCG said it would elect and appoint new permanent officers “in due course”.