WYRE Forest Clinical Commissioning Group has been given the green light to take control of the district’s NHS budget, the health service’s commissioning board has announced.

A summary document released by the board last week shows WFCCG has been approved in the second wave of authorisations.

It means the CCG has met all of the criteria set out during a rigorous assessment process which involved reviewing its policies, visiting its staff, interviewing leaders and assessing work being done and planned for the future.

The new statutory body, set up in shadow form last year, will formally take responsibility for commissioning hospital, community and mental health services from April 2013, overseeing a budget of about £127 million.

It is made up of a partnership of 12 Wyre Forest GP practices with a board of local GPs, a hospital consultant, a lead nurse, two lay members and members of the senior management team.

Dr Simon Gates, WFCCG chairman, said: “We are delighted to get the green light for authorisation.

“Clinicians and staff have been working hard over the last year to get the right structures in place so we can commission the best services for local people.”

Chief officer for the CCG, Simon Hairsnape, added: “Over the last year we have already started to see the results of greater clinical involvement in commissioning decisions but at the same time we recognise there is a lot more to do.

“We are pleased we have a very strong team of clinicians behind us and are confident we will be able to tackle the challenges ahead. The hard work starts now as we build on substantial progress already made and in preparation for taking on full commissioning responsibilities.”

CCGs, set up by the Government’s controversial Health and Social Care Act 2012, will replace primary care trusts.

Members of the public are also invited to attend WFCCG board meetings. The next one will take place on Tuesday, February 5, at 9am at Wyre Forest House, Finepoint Way, Kidderminster.