Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has been told its standards must improve by a national assessment body.

The Improvement and Assessment Framework draws together information from the NHS constitution, performance and finance indicators and rates CCGs across the country against the delivery of the Five Year Forward View.

Mid Essex CCG has been rated as "requires improvement" by NHS England, the body behind the framework.

NHS England did identify several areas of strength amongst the CCG's services, including cancer services, leadership, relationships with stakeholders and the new Dementia Intensive Support Service.

Dr Caroline Dollery, chairman of Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “While the overall rating is disappointing, I am pleased to see our work in developing and improving performance in key clinical areas like cancer and dementia care has been highlighted and recognised.

“Our Dementia Intensive Support Service plays a vital role in supporting patients in mid Essex to live well with dementia by offering mental and physical care in one place, early intervention and a helpline that operates 24 hours a day, 7 day a week.

“There have been challenges with provision and access to some services like diabetes and mental health but we already have a number of remedial plans in place and are beginning to see improvements.

“For example, we recently piloted the use of social media to help us engage with a younger audience and successfully drive up referrals to local mental health services. I am proud of our progress so far, but recognise there is still more work to do.”

Mid Essex CCG plans and buys healthcare for more than 380,000 people across Braintree, Chelmsford and Maldon.