THE four doctor-led Clinical Commissioning Groups of Worcestershire and Herefordshire are to merge to become one single organisation in April 2020.
A single NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire CCG will be created, replacing NHS Herefordshire CCG, NHS Redditch and Bromsgrove CCG, NHS South Worcestershire CCG and NHS Wyre Forest CCG.
While there remain some final steps to take before final approval is granted, the CCGs are now working towards April 1, 2020 for the creation of the new CCG.
Doctors leaders say the merger will not affect any health or care services provided by NHS organisations or local councils across the area, but aims to reduce the duplication of roles behind the scenes at the four organisations.
It also fits in with the expectation in the NHS Long Term Plan commissioning arrangements across the two counties should be more streamlined.
CCGs spokesman Simon Trickett said: “Our main priority is, and always will be, our patients and the health and wellbeing of our local population.
“Having already set up combined governance and decision-making arrangements across the four CCGs, this is the next logical step.”
There are expected to be many benefits from bringing the four CCGs together into a single commissioning organisation.
All CCGs are required to reduce their running costs by 20 per cent by March 31, 2020, which means finding a saving of nearly £2million across the four organisations.
By creating one single CCG, instead of the current four, the CCGs believe they can save the required sum.
A single commissioning organisation will mean single commissioning polices across the two counties, putting an end to ‘postcode lotteries’ for services and treatments across Herefordshire and Worcestershire.
Working together as one organisation should generate economies of scale and reduce duplication, enabling the CCGs to focus resources into front line services and patient care.