“Early talks” take place over Mersey CCG mega merger


Early discussions have taken place over the possibility of a CCG mega merger in the North West.

St Helens, Halton, Warrington and potentially Knowsley are the four CCG bodies that were considered in a meeting at Warrington town Hall last week.

In a report put out by the St Helens Star, Dr Andrew Davies, clinical chief officer for both Warrington and Halton CCGs, told the health scrutiny committee there is a proposal for the merger.

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Davies said the CCGs had been asked to “get our heads together” and have a look at the potential move.

He went on to detail how NHS England has an ambition for it to come into effect in 2021.

The Star’s report explained how following the meeting, Sarah O’Brien, clinical accountable officer for St Helens CCG, confirmed that discussions are ongoing but said it is “very early days”.

She said: “The NHS Long Term Plan signalled the move to streamlined strategic commissioning, and a clear focus on integrated commissioning at ‘place.’ NHS England have indicated to us that in the future, CCGs will need to work differently on larger footprints.”

Adding: “It is very early days and any formal proposals will need to be considered by our governing body and agreed with our GP membership. In developing any proposals, we will ensure the involvement and engagement of all our key stakeholders, including our local authority partners, elected councillors and members of the public.”

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Alex Douglas

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