Have your say on plans to merge Norfolk and Waveney's five Clinical Commissioning Groups
PUBLISHED: 11:42 07 August 2019 | UPDATED: 11:45 07 August 2019
The public is being invited to have its say on plans to merge Norfolk and Waveney's five Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).
The county's CCGs plan and pay for health services in the local areas they represent. They replaced primary care trusts in 2013.
Now, the governing bodies of Norfolk and Waveney's five commissioning groups claim there are "very clear" advantages for merging into one larger CCG.
The proposals claim money will be saved by creating a single team of staff, but the exact amount has not been revealed.
In a statement, the clinical chairs of the five CCGs said: "We have listened hard to clinicians and patients over the years and it is clear that some of the biggest issues we need to address need one strong, unified commissioning voice.
"For example we want better mental health services with reduced waits and fewer out of area placements, we want much quicker help for children and young people, especially in terms of mental health referrals and we have got to support our partners delivering health and care services to cope with rising demand."
The proposals state there are two areas that the governing body of all five CCGs aim to address - that work is locally focussed and ensuring it continues to be "clinically-led" by doctors and nurses.
In terms of leadership, new primary care networks are being developed to bring GP services, mental health and social care teams closure together.
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The governing body also aims to ensure there is an "appropriate geographic spread" of lay members from each area of Norfolk and Waveney.
Governing body meetings would also be held in public in different parts of Norfolk and Waveney.
The proposals come as the NHS's long term plan was published in January 2019. It states that by April 2021, every area will have an Integrated Care System (ICS)" which includes a single CCG.
The ICS is a new way of working which aims to break down gaps between providers, commissioner, charities and local authorities.
The proposals state that NHS England and NHS Improvement requires the cost of running CCGs to be reduced. In Norfolk and Waveney the running costs of the governing bodies is £1.4m per year.
The proposals state: "We are saving money by creating one single team of staff. However we think we can save more public money by having one CCG and one governing body, instead of five of each.
"Keeping five CCGs would not help us meet new demands and priorities, such as the need to improve performance, quality and our financial challenge across the whole of Norfolk and Waveney.
"We think our partners that provide services across larger areas, such as some NHS Trusts, would find it better to work with one bigger CCG."
If the proposals go ahead, the CCGs will submit an application to NHS England in the autumn, with the merger taking place by the end of March 2020.
To have your say, visit: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/NorfolkandWaveneyCCGProposal/