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Devon NHS improving, says new evaluation

Significant progress is being made in Devon’s health system, according to an independent assessment.

An evaluation released by NHS England shows that both of the county’s clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) made improvements last year.

Northern, Eastern and Western Devon CCG improved its finance rating from ‘red’ last year to ‘green’ in 2018, while South Devon and Torbay CCG has moved from ‘red’ to ‘amber’, with its overall rating staying steady.

NEW Devon CCG’s overall rating has gone from ‘requires improvement’ last year to ‘good’ this year.

This comes as Devon’s Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP), of which the CCGs are key partners, has published its two-year report highlighting the wide range of improvements made across the county.

These include Devon Partnership NHS Trust opening a temporary mother and baby unit – the first in the county – ahead of starting work on a permanent eight-bed unit.

In addition, the four acute Trusts that run Devon’s hospitals came together in a groundbreaking ‘mutual support agreement’ to deliver safe and sustainable services by sharing staff and resources.

The Devon STP has also attracted £30million of national funding for enhanced emergency and care services, and more than half a million patients across the county now have access to online GP services thanks to an innovative new IT service.

These STP improvements are reflected in NHS England’s ratings, where it congratulated both of Devon’s CCGs on their progress and integrated ways of working across the county, particularly the close working with each other.

The ratings also show that the leadership status of both Devon CCGs remain stable, receiving an ‘amber’ classification.

Dr Paul Johnson and Dr Tim Burke, chairs for both South Devon and Torbay CCG and NEW Devon CCG respectively, said: “In a time of rising demand, we have shown continued improvement.

“This is due, at least in part, to closer working between the two CCGs and establishing a single management team.

“There’s work still to be done, but we are pleased that NHS England has highlighted significant progress being made in key areas.

“Devon has now moved from being one of the challenged health systems, to one that is seen as making great progress.

“Without the hard work and dedication of our staff, this couldn't have been achieved. This is excellent news for all of us, and particularly for patients across Devon who are already beginning to see the benefits of closer system-working.”

South Devon and Torbay CCG overall rating of ‘requires improvement’ in the NHS England report is the same as last year.​