The Governing Bodies of the clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in mid and south Essex will this month consider the proposal to move to one Accountable Officer and a single Executive Team and to start the application process to merge the five CCGs into one CCG by April 2021.
The NHS Long Term Plan launched in January 2019 proposes developing and consolidating the existing collaborations between NHS organisations and their partners, called Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships, into more closely linked bodies called Integrated Care Systems (ICS). Each ICS is expected to have a single CCG to enable a single set of commissioning decisions at system level.
The Accountable Officers from the five Mid and South Essex CCGs jointly commented:
“At the heart of our plan is a commitment to focus future commissioning decisions on ‘place-based’ or ‘locality’ planning and delivery of services. We will ensure that the central objective for the local NHS is delivering better patient outcomes and our core principle will be that commissioning issues should be dealt with at the most local level. We are seeking to show how there will be as much, if not more involvement for local communities than the current arrangements allow.”
No decision to merge has yet been taken and that there is plenty of scope to influence the future planning of local health and care. CCG Boards are being asked at their meetings in public later this month to approve streamlining of the management and governance processes by moving to a single Accountable Officer and executive team across the five CCGs as they strengthen existing arrangements for a Joint Committee to make strategic decisions.
CCG Boards will be engaging with mid and south Essex GP practices, partner organisations, patients and NHS staff so they can deliver the requirement of the NHS Long Term Plan to submit an application for a merger of CCGs across the Mid and South Essex STP by September 2020.
The Accountable Officers said: “We recognise the strength of our local partnerships and will fiercely protect them and the joined-up working they make possible, as this is the best way to improve outcomes for our residents.”
All five CCGs will be making the Board papers available to view online from Thursday 19 September, where members of the public can review the proposals.