NHS England said it was ‘disappointing’ that the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) had slid back into a rating of inadequate.

An assessment team from the NHS inspected the CCG earlier this year and downgraded it from 'requires improvement' to inadequate.

The CCG said it had experienced a number of "significant issues" within the last year, which had contributed to the rating.

Each CCG in the country has received an overall assessment that places their performance in one of four categories: outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate.

The assessment was carried out using the NHS's 'improvement and assessment framework', with the overall assessment based on the CCG's performance against the indicators, including its leadership and financial management.

In 2015-2016, the CCG was also rated inadequate, but, the following year, it was given an improved assurance rating of 'requires improvement' by NHS England following a series of improvements.

However, the rating has been downgraded again for 2017-18 but the CCG has said it is "committed" to making improvements.

Simon Evans, locality director for NHS England - Midlands and East, said:

"Clinical commissioning groups are rated by NHS England each year to show how they are performing. The rating of 'inadequate' for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG is disappointing, but these ratings are there to support CCGs to identify where improvements need to be made, so they can target their efforts to improve local services.

"NHS England will be working closely with the CCG to help improve its performance, to ensure local people can access high quality health services when they need them."

Cambridgeshire and Peterbough CCG is one of the 18 clinical commissioning groups that was rated inadequate in the assessment, which was published on July 12.

Jan Thomas, chief officer of the CCG, said: "The 2017-18 financial year saw a number of significant issues within the CCG and our 'inadequate' rating reflects this.

"We are committed to improving our performance and we are focused on ensuring that, working with our partners and stakeholders, we can deliver the high quality, safe health services that people across our area need within our financial allocation."