The proposed merger plans for CCGs which cover Shropshire and Telford could be set for a return, sooner than expected.
The proposal to become a single CCG was rejected by NHS England last month, saying they did not meet the criteria.
According to a report from the Shropshire Star, it was expected the plans would be on hold until September 2020, but David Evans, who has been appointed the single accountable officer for both CCGs, says he has been given firm assurances the plans could be looked at sooner.
He also blamed what he described as an “ambitious” timescale set for the merger as the reason why NHS England did not back the scheme.
He said: “Following the formal application to NHS England NHS Improvement on September 30, a panel meeting was convened by the regional team to consider the application in more detail on October 11.”
Adding: “Following this panel meeting the CCGs were informed that the application had been unsuccessful on this occasion, mainly due to the fact that the CCGs had not had enough time to develop the strategic thinking, which meant some of the key evidence and documentation submitted with the application did not fully meet the NHS England/NHS Improvement application criteria.”
The Shropshire Star report continued: “However, the panel have provided very positive feedback on the application, acknowledging the effort and contribution in developing the application by the two CCGs. The panel’s view was that if the CCGs had more time, the application would have been stronger and the late start clearly disadvantaged our application.”
Critically, he confirmed: “The panel have also made a firm offer to support the CCGs to make a further application earlier than the normal deadline of September 2020, as they believe our application can be enhanced to meet the 10 application criteria in full, if we continue to work at pace.
“We have an assurance meeting scheduled with NHS England/NHS Improvement on November 20 where we hope we can agree our new application timeframe.”