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CCG officers step down amid ‘governance’ investigation

NHS England has launched an investigation into NHS Crawley CCG after the chief clinical officer and chair both resigned. 

According to NHS England, the investigation that is underway relates to the governance of the CCG.

Dr Amit Bhargava, chief clinical officer for NHS Crawley CCG and a GP at the Southgate Medical Practice, stepped down late last month along with CCG chair Alan Kennedy.

The CCG refused to comment on the investigation but a spokesperson for NHS England South told Pulse: ‘In line with our assurance role to ensure good governance within CCGs, we have commissioned an independent investigation by Verita in relation to NHS Crawley CCG. 

‘The investigation is underway and it would be inappropriate for us to comment further.’

In his resignation letter, Dr Bhargava said: ‘The NHS faces big challenges, with the need for new partnerships and collaborations, and it is right that the leadership is also new and takes charge of its destiny to create a great future.’

NHS Crawley CCG, which faces a deficit of £6.8m, was recently put into special measures after being rated as ‘inadequate’ by NHS England.

In a statement, the CCG said that ‘due to unforeseen circumstances’ Alan Kennedy handed in his resignation, which the CCG accepted at the end of July.

The CCG has since appointed Geraldine Hoban as an interim accountable officer to take over from Dr Bhargava, with support from NHS Crawley CCG clinical director Dr Laura Hill, who is also a GP Dr Bhargava’s practice. 

According to a statement from the CCG: ‘This is a practical solution given that Geraldine Hoban is also the accountable officer for NHS Horsham and Mid Sussex CCG, which works in close partnership with NHS Crawley CCG and shares a management team.’

The CCG appointed Peter Nicolson as acting lay chair ‘in order to ensure that we could continue to fulfil our statutory duties’.

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