Clinical commissioning groups in Sefton and Liverpool are pausing their plan to merge the three organisations.
NHS South Sefton CCG, NHS Southport and Formby CCG and NHS Liverpool CCG have made the decision so they can spend more time considering the implications of a merger for their patients, staff and partners.
Governing body members agreed the pause at a joint meeting on 6 June 2017 and their decision will now be recommended for approval at their next governing body meetings.
The three CCGs were required by NHS England to submit their formal merger application by July 2017, ahead of any agreed organisational change from April 2018. Governing body members have instead agreed to delay submitting their application and revisit their proposal in a year’s time. Importantly, this step takes account of the increasing challenges and demands placed on the NHS as a whole and, in particular at this time, by the three local health commissioners.
At the tri-governing body meeting, members agreed that the original July 2017 application deadline would divert the CCGs’ efforts away from their priority work over the coming year – a crucial period for each CCG.
So, this additional time created by a pause will allow the CCGs to concentrate their efforts in two areas. Firstly, in ensuring the CCGs continued focus is on improving financial and health service performance for the distinct populations they serve in line with their individual statutory duties, whilst secondly, developing a more considered and robust business case that clearly demonstrates the benefits of merging to their GP practice members, local residents and other key partners.
Membership of the North Mersey Local Delivery System (LDS) means the CCGs will continue to work together on system wide programmes that benefit and affect the populations they serve. Good progress and pace has already been made, without the upheaval that organisational or structural change would bring to the CCGs at this present time.
Current areas of joint work include work to transform hospital services. Other areas for future closer collaboration will now be explored and could include RightCare benchmarking, continuing healthcare and funded nursing care.