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Slate of new mergers as the trend of CCGs joining forces continues


By Valeria Fiore
Reporter
20 May 2019

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The long-term plan hit our desks in January this year, stating that ‘typically’ there will be one CCG per integrated care system (ICS).

Over the past month, fifteen CCGs across England have announced their intention to merge or to consider a merger.

If approved by NHS England, the mergers could see four new strategic commissioning bodies taking effect from 1 April 2020.

Healthcare Leader brings you all the latest news on CCG mergers.

Six CCGs in South East London

Six CCGs in South East London agreed to consider proposals to merge into one organisation, as it emerges from NHS Greenwich CCG board meeting papers dated 1 May.

NHS Bexley, NHS Bromley, NHS Greenwich, NHS Lambeth, NHS Lewisham, and NHS Southwark CCGs ‘have confirmed a shared intention to progress an application and the process of CCG merger’, the board papers said, which means the six bodies could be merged from 1 April 2020.

However, an NHS Southwark CCG spokesperson told Healthcare Leader that the merger will be subject to ‘formal approval by the governing bodies before an application is submitted to NHS England in September’.

They added that the CCGs are seeking feedback on the proposals by GP practices, residents, partners and stakeholders ‘as an essential part of the application process’.

The spokesperson said: ‘Merging the CCGs would be a step towards becoming an ICS, which is a commitment set out in the NHS long-term plan.’

If the merger is approved, the CCGs will share one leadership team, ‘with a range of roles that will ensure continued capacity at borough level to support place-based commissioning’, the spokesperson added.

Two CCGs in the Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin area

NHS Shropshire CCG and Telford and Wrekin CCG have announced their intention to create one new organisation for both CCGs after NHS Telford and Wrekin CCG governance board meeting on 14 May.

The CCGs said that in order to cut their administrative costs by 20% by 2020, as instructed by NHS England last year, they need to save £1.2m across both CCGs.

According to NHS Telford and Wrekin CCG board papers from 14 May, the CCGs believe that the creation of a ‘new strategic commissioning organisation across the whole footprint of Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin’ will help them reduce duplication and help both CCGs ‘to reach the 20% running cost target set by NHS England’.

The board papers also said that creating a single CCG would ‘immediately respond to the requirements set out in the NHS long-term plan for one strategic commissioner per STP area’.

NHS Shropshire CCG accountable officer David Stout and NHS Telford and Wrekin CCG accountable officer David Evans said in a joint statement:

‘As the proposal to dissolve the two CCGs and create one new strategic commissioning organisation have been approved by the governing bodies of both CCGs, we will now begin the process of recruiting a single accountable officer, looking at management teams, and implementing a programme management officer.’

The CCGs aim to have a new organisation in place by 1 April 2020.

Four CCGs in Herefordshire and Worcestershire area

NHS Herefordshire CCG, NHS Redditch and Bromsgrove CCG, NHS South Worcestershire CCG, and NHS Wyre Forest CCG are seeking people’s view on their proposals to merge into one commissioning body.

The CCGs said that, in order to cut their running costs by 20%, they need to find savings worth almost £2m across their sustainability and transformation partnership (STP).

Simon Trickett, accountable officer for the four CCGs said that ‘by creating one single CCG, instead of the current four, we estimate that we can save the required £2m’.

The CCGs, who already share their leadership team, said the proposal to become one organisation is in line with the long-term plan’s expectation ‘to see CCGs coming together in each STP area as part of more streamlined commissioning arrangements’.

A new strategic commissioning body could be in place by 1 April 2020.

Three CCGs in north Yorkshire

As Healthcare Leader previously reported, the three north Yorkshire CCGs announced their intention to merge.

NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby CCG, NHS Harrogate and Rural District CCG, and NHS Scarborough and Ryedale CCG took the decision at a joint board meeting on 30 April.

The CCGs will submit a formal proposal to NHS England by 30 September and if approved, the commissioning bodies will become a single statutory organisation from 1 April 2020.

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