CCGs to merge to reduce 'administrative burden'

PUBLISHED: 11:38 10 November 2017 | UPDATED: 14:12 10 November 2017

Mary Backhouse believes the CCG merger will be good for local health services.

Mary Backhouse believes the CCG merger will be good for local health services.

Archant

North Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will be disbanded next year in favour of a regional setup involving Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

The three district CCGs will merge to form a regional body from April 1 in a bid to ‘alleviate an administrative burden’.

It means one body will be responsible for choosing which health organisations – such as Weston General Hospital – provide which services.

The move ties in with plans for closer links between Weston’s hospital and its Bristol counterparts.

Dr Mary Backhouse, clinical chairman of North Somerset CCG, believes the merger is good news for patients.

She said: “I am delighted
NHS England, and our GP membership, has supported our merger proposal, which will benefit local patients as well
as the wider health and care system.

“We will now begin the detailed work of preparing for the merger and look forward to launching
the new organisation from
April.”

Since proposing the idea of a merger in August, engagement with local stakeholders has been held, and the plan was put to the CCG’s GP member practices in September.

Members voted in support of the proposal and a formal application to merge was submitted to NHS England.

This has now been approved, subject to a few minor tweaks.

The CCGs say anticipated benefits of the changes include a stronger commissioning and clinical leadership role for the new CCG.They believe having a single budget and commissioning strategy will lead to a more consistent service for patients across the South West, as well
as more efficient and joined-
up use of the three CCGs’ resources.

Dr Martin Jones, Bristol CCG’s clinical chairman, said the move was a ‘logical’ step forward.

His South Gloucestershire counterpart, Dr Jonathan Hayes added: “I welcome this announcement and look forward to the launch of the merged organisation next year.

“Although we already work very closely together, with a single chief executive and executive team, merger will give new impetus to our work to transform and improve services on behalf of patients.”

The new-look CCG will oversee healthcare services for almost one million people.

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