DOCTORS in south Bucks today take charge of a £305million budget for health services.

GPs will be holding the purse strings from now as part of Government reforms to the NHS.

The new Chiltern Commissioning Group, which has been formed over the last year, now officially takes on the duties of the abolished Primary Care Trust.

The CCG is a group of 35 GP practices in Amersham, Wycombe, and across South Buckinghamshire, serving a population of over 320,000.

Dr Annet Gamell, Chief Clinical Officer Designate, said: “GPs across south Buckinghamshire have been working together and with a whole range of other organisations and individuals for some time, to ensure services are developed in a way which provides the best healthcare possible for local people.

“There has been a lot of work to get to this point - it is great news that we will be authorised from April.

"Chiltern CCG is determined to continue to work with partner organisations and local people to ensure that caring, high quality, affordable and sustainable services are provided. In addition we will focus on illness prevention and promotion of health and well being.”

The group takes over from the now scrapped NHS Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire, formerly known as the primary care trust.

It will carry out the high-level planning of health services and their day-to-day role will be to allocate funding for hospitals, mental health, rehabilitation, learning disability and most community services.

The group's responsibility also includes emergency hospital care, and learning disability services.

In north Bucks, the Aylesbury Vale Clinical Commissioning Group will be in charge.