So who exactly runs our health services?

St Luke's hospital in Market Harborough. (Picture: Andrew Carpenter/001014-5).
St Luke's hospital in Market Harborough. (Picture: Andrew Carpenter/001014-5).

WITH all the changes to the way our health services are run in recent years, you could be forgiven for confusion over who manages what.

A look over the last 30 years of health stories in the Mail’s archives conjures up a variety of titles for the management group looking after services in the district.

From the Fosse Health Trust, to the Leicestershire and Rutland Healthcare NHS Trust, the Melton, Rutland and Harborough Primary Care Trust and more recently NHS Leicestershire County and Rutland by way of the Leicestershire County and Rutland Primary Care Trust – it can get a bit of a mouthful, if nothing else.

The last two years has seen a move towards a GP-led health service with groups – at first known as consortia, but following a Government rethink now called clinical commissioning groups (CCG) – set up across the country.

The group for Harborough, known as the East Leicestershire and Rutland CCG (ELRCCG), was last month given the go-ahead to act as an NHS organisation.

It has already been looking after much of the Harborough NHS spending in readiness for the new role, but will take over fully from April.

It has become such a muddle that the group’s communications team is devising a diagram to explain the current power structure.

The group will take over many of the roles performed by trust groups, including planning and the buying of healthcare services.

It includes GPs from 34 practices serving over 315,000 patients in Harborough, Lutterworth, Melton, Rutland, Blaby, Oadby and Wigston.

It has responsibility for delivering Harborough’s long-awaited new £4m hospital on the St Luke’s site, set to open in 2014.

To make matters more confusing, the endoscopy unit on the site is managed by Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, which has looked after outpatient services in Leicestershire since 2011, when the Government introduced new rules which required health trusts to separate from their provider arms.

The new group’s managing director is Dr David Briggs, a GP at a Melton practice.

He said: “A great deal of hard work has been done to get us to this stage successfully, and I am grateful for the support of all my colleagues in this achievement. We are confident that we have developed a set of aims and plans that respond to the health needs of local people.”

For more information about the new group visit the website www.east