The GP in charge of the CCG with the biggest deficit in England has resigned to allow a full-time accountable officer to deal with the financial difficulties.
NHS Bedfordshire CCG, which has a shortfall of £29m, has taken on finance expert Nick Robinson in a full-time post to replace Dr Paul Hassan.
Pulse reported in January that the beleaguered CCG would use almost half a million pounds of funding earned by practices through prescribing schemes to help cut its deficit.
Dr Hassan said: ‘I believe that, given our financial position, we need a full-time accountable officer who can give the difficulties we face their full and undivided attention.
‘Now is the right time to step aside and let a new accountable officer lead the CCG into the next phase.’
CCG chair Steve Hone said Dr Hassan had achieved ‘a great deal for patients’, given that local A&E departments are ‘among the highest performers in the country’, and that hospital-acquired infection rates are also low.
Mr Robinson, who has more than 35 years’ experience in the NHS, including 10 as a finance director, said: ‘My immediate task will be to continue the work that has already been done to regain our finances and ensure we have the systems in place to deliver our financial recovery plans without compromising the high standard of care available to local people.’