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CCGs must show plans for 20% efficiency savings before merging


4 November 2016

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Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) wanting to merge will have to demonstrate how they plan to make 20% efficiency savings as a larger entity before the merger is approved, according to new NHS guidance.

NHS England has released new guidance for CCGs wanting to apply for a constitution change, merger or dissolution.

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) wanting to merge will have to demonstrate how they plan to make 20% efficiency savings as a larger entity before the merger is approved, according to new NHS guidance.

NHS England has released new guidance for CCGs wanting to apply for a constitution change, merger or dissolution.

The guidance includes six new factors that the NHS will take into account when approving these changes, including showing “how 20% in on-going running costs will be released” to supporting local system transformation, including how the CCG plans to commission these changes.

The CCGs will also have to demonstrate progress in implementing shared functions, the support of STP leadership, a suitable footprint for vanguard oversight and STP delivery, and the ability to engage with GPs and local communities.

NHS England will also take into account other factors laid out in legislation including that the CCG is clinically led, has suitable financial arrangements and good arrangements for commissioning support services.

The guidelines add that the NHS does not expect the new approach to lead to “lots of mergers or create wide scale re-organisation”.

It adds: “Instead it provides those CCGs who have been thinking about different ways of working across boundaries the opportunity to merge where this is considered appropriate.”

Dr Graham Jackson, NHS Clinical Commissioners co-chair and Chair of NHS Aylesbury Vale CCG said: “We welcome this guidance which should be seen as a way of supporting and enhancing the strategic evolution of commissioning. Where there is a case for a formal merger of CCGs it must be driven by the local area who have decided it’s the right thing to do.”

NHS England also announced a list of nearly 300 GP schemes earmarked for investment from 2016/17 as part of NHS England’s Estates and Technology Transformation Fund.

The fund is intended to boost investment in improved premises and IT infrastructure and expand the range of services for patients.

CCGs submitted recommendations to NHS England for investment in June 2016.

Investment will be used across a range of GP premises and technology schemes, in line with CCG estates and digital plans.

NHS England has said further schemes are planned for future years.

Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said: “Today marks the next instalment of our practical action to strengthen GP services, in this case by providing modern buildings in which a wider range of local care can be offered to patients across England.”

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