St Helens, Halton and Warrington CCGs are set to begin formal talks over a potential mega merger.
As a response to the NHS’s Long Term Plan, the talks with NHS regulators had been going on for some time.
According to the St Helens Star, a report presented to the governing bodies of St Helens, Halton and Warrington CCGs says there is a “growing appetite for formal CCG mergers.”
The Star’s article also details that there are “challenging financial pressures” and a requirement for CCGs to achieve a 20% reduction in running costs.
St Helens CCG’s clinical accountable officer, Sarah O’Brien, said merging with other commissioners is in-line with NHS policy, as set out in the Long Term Plan.
Professor O’Brien, executive director for people’s services, said the decision was “a policy direction.”
Adding: “I think it’s really important to remind ourselves that this discussion about, do we start to embark now on discussions with neighbouring CCGs about becoming bigger entities, it was laid out in the Long Term Plan, which is policy around the future of the health service, that CCGs would become more strategic.”
She went on to insist that increasing the size of the CCG will not be at the expense of St Helens Cares, the borough’s integrated healthcare system.