There will be a single Hampshire-wide clinical commissioning group (CCG) from April after the merger of six local bodies in the area.
The newly-formed Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight CCG will replace the current Hampshire and Isle of Wight Partnership of CCGs as well as Southampton City CCG and West Hampshire CCG.
The move has sparked concerns from councillors about how it may reduce local-focused services but the clinical-led body has given assurances that these will be “very much retained”, according to the Basingstoke Gazette.
The paper said that during a council committee meeting last week, Dr Matt Nisbet, GP at Crown Heights in Basingstoke and North Hampshire CCG clinical lead for business and partnership, the new network was a result of “central policy”.
He said the change in structure is designed to keep a local focus while benefitting from a more joined up approach across the region.
The paper quoted him as saying: “When CCGs were established one of the primary objectives is that they were clinically-led and local-focused, and I think to a large extent they have succeeded in that. But there have been things that have been lost in that as well, so this latest structural change was designed to address that. So whilst it’s true that in April the CCGs will merge into a single one, we are still very much retaining a local structure as well.”