HALTON’S pioneering NHS organisation is on track to deliver innovative first class care for patients, claimed its new boss.

Halton Clinical Commissioning Group is already running the purse strings and has now completed a comprehensive checklist to take control of the borough’s health services from April, 2013.

Four local residents who have been appointed as lay members took up their posts this week.

They will act as watchdogs for patients.

Simon Banks, chief executive of Halton CCG, said: “We have addressed 119 key lines of enquiry and put evidence against each question.

“We will then go to a series of moderation panels where people will read and might ask us for more information.

“Authorisation is not just about the work of an organisation, it is about democratic people having trust and confidence in you to do the job.”

Some 42 stakeholders gave their anonymous views and commended Halton CCG for the way they engaged and involve local people.

Mr Banks said: “It is really exciting that we have now appointed lay people. They will be on our governing body and ensure we are putting quality and patients at the forefront of all that we do.

The lay members include former Halton Councillors, David Austen, and Bob Bryant, from Runcorn, Ingrid Fife, vice chairman of Halton Housing Trust, and David Merrill, from Widnes.

Mr Merrill has been appointed deputy chairman of Halton CCG.

Mr Banks said: “We are striving for excellence.

“It is really exciting times.

“We want everyone to have an interest and take action to improve their own health and wellbeing and that of the communities in which they live.

“Like the doctor, we cannot do this alone. We need to work with others to improve life expectancy, reduce our high rates of hospitalisation and make Halton healthier.”