LOCAL clinicians have today been given the green light to take control of Halton’s £177 million NHS budget.

Halton Clinical Commissioning Group has received official permission to manage the healthcare of 125,700 patients across the borough’s 17 GP practices.

But, conditions have been placed on five areas which need extra support to meet the assessment criteria.

A nurse and secondary care doctor must be appointed and four other administrative plans must be put in place.

Local GP and chairman of Halton CCG, Dr Cliff Richards, said: “We’re pleased to be well on our way to taking responsibility for the health and wellbeing of Halton residents.

“We accept that there are still a few more actions to put into place and are already on our way to addressing the five conditions. “We have already appointed a nurse and secondary care doctor.

“Our achievement so far is testament to everyone’s hard work over the last 18 months and we couldn’t have done it without the help and support of our member GP practices and local partners.

“We’re confident that we will be able to meet the NHS Commissioning Board criteria which will mean we have everything in place to enable us to make Halton CCG a successful organisation.”

Brookvale GP Dr Richards, who practices at Hallwood Health Centre has worked as a Runcorn doctor for more than 30 years.

Local clinicians will now work with the Commissioning Board to resolve these issues.

Halton CCG will be responsible for planning and commissioning hospital, community health and mental health services from April 1.

It will take over planned hospital care, rehabilitation, urgent and emergency care including out of hours, and learning disability services.