The clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) for Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes have now merged into one single body.
The new Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) CCG will act as one single group responsible for the planning and provision of NHS-funded healthcare for almost one million people.
A new governing body consisting of GPs, lay members and executive directors has been recruited to lead the new organisation, taking up their posts with effect from 1 April 2021.
Felicity Cox, accountable officer for the new NHS BLMK CCG and executive lead for the BLMK Integrated Care System (ICS), said: “Today we launch the new BLMK CCG, which brings three organisations together as one, allowing us to make better use of our resources, reduce duplication and spread good practice.
“Over the last 18 months, the CCGs have already been working as one team as part of a system-wide effort to respond to the Covid pandemic and support delivery of the biggest vaccination programme in the history of the NHS.
“This experience has demonstrated the real benefits that joint working can bring.
“As a single CCG we will continue to work more closely than ever before with our NHS trusts, local authorities and other system partners, to reduce health inequalities and improve outcomes for the residents of Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes and the communities we serve.
“The future is exciting as we look to build on the foundations we have laid in the last year.”
Dr Sarah Whiteman, a Bedfordshire resident and Milton Keynes GP, has been appointed chair. Felicity Cox, current accountable officer for the three CCGs, will continue as AO for the new BLMK CCG and executive lead for BLMK Integrated Care System.
Meanwhile, Dr Edward Sivills has been appointed Interim BLMK medical director, while Dean Westcott has also been appointed as the new chief finance officer and ICS executive finance lead, commencing on 1 June 2021.