Four CCGs in the south east of England could merge in April 2020 to form a single commissioning organisation covering an integrated care system, if their proposal is successful later this month.
East Surrey, North West Surrey, Guildford and Waverley and Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Groups are currently consulting on the proposed merger, which would see one group formed to cover the Surrey Heartlands area.
The single commissioning group would be responsible for a population of around 1 million people.
In a statement, the CCGs said that the merger was in line with the NHS’s Long-Term Plan, which set the expectation for health and care organisations to work more collaboratively across local areas and to take more collective responsibility for improving the health of local populations.
As part of this move to work more collaboratively, there is also an expectation that CCGs come together across their respective health and local authority areas.
Over the past 18 months, Guildford and Waverley, North West Surrey and Surrey Downs CCGs have been working more closely together, with one Joint Accountable Officer and one Executive Team. Merging the CCGs is “the next logical step”, they said.
The statement said: “Longer-term, the move to create one CCG is part of our wider journey towards developing more joined up health and care, and our overall ambition to improve the health of the local population.
“Much of this will be delivered at a very local level, through our Integrated Care Partnerships and Primary Care Networks which, over time, will create tangible improvements to the way care is delivered, better value for money and new and exciting ways of working.
“At the same time, we will be able to focus on supporting and developing those services which are best delivered across Surrey, such as mental health and children’s services.”