Organisations in charge of healthcare in Somerset found to be ‘inadequate’

PUBLISHED: 08:00 14 August 2017

North Somerset and Somerset CCGs have been rated as inadequate.

North Somerset and Somerset CCGs have been rated as inadequate.

Milan Markovic

The organisations responsible for providing healthcare in Somerset have been rated as inadequate, and there is particular concern for people with dementia.

Both North Somerset and Somerset clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have been rated as inadequate in NHS England’s annual assessment.

The CCGs are responsible for paying for and providing health services across the area, from care in hospitals to community services, including mental health support and care for the elderly.

NHS England has released its annual assessment of 211 CCGs nationwide, and North Somerset and Somerset CCGs are two of just 23 which have been labelled as inadequate.

The assessment looks at six key areas: cancer, dementia, diabetes, learning disabilities, maternity, and mental health.

North Somerset is performing well in cancer care and mental health services, but has been told it must improve in all of the other areas.

The CCG is in special measures, which means NHS England monitors it closely and provides it with instructions on how to improve.

Somerset CCG is rated as good for its cancer and maternity services but requires improvement in the mental health and diabetes categories. It has been rated as inadequate for its dementia care.

NHS England estimates just 64.4 per cent of dementia sufferers in North Somerset have been diagnosed, while it says 61.1 per cent of people living with the condition in Somerset have a formal diagnosis.

Across both areas there are also concerns about young people’s health, as a third of children are overweight or obese.

Both the CCGs have ‘red ratings’ for both their financial plans and how well led they are.

A spokesman for North Somerset CCG said: “While we are disappointed with the overall ratings following the 2016/17 year end assessments, we have made significant progress across North Somerset to address our financial position and are moving towards a single commissioning voice with our partner organisations Bristol and South Gloucestershire CCGs.

“We will continue to work closely with NHS England with the aim of exiting special measures this year.”

A Somerset CCG spokesman said the rating reflects ‘significant demand and financial pressure’ on health services.

They added: “Our priority is to… work more effectively with our partners as a whole health care system.

“We are developing plans… that will continue to improve service quality and better manage demand by focusing upon preventing ill health whilst delivering more health care in the community and in patients’ own homes.”

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