NHS staff face uncertain future ahead of plan to merge five CCGs

Staff working at Norfolk and Waveneys five Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are being given the

Staff working at Norfolk and Waveneys five Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are being given the chance to have their say on plans to merge the organisations into one large group. Picture: Getty Images - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Staff working at Norfolk and Waveney's five Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGS) are facing uncertainty as health bosses plan to save £2.6m within the next 12 months - in part by cutting jobs.

CCGs are the organisations which plan and pay for health services in the local areas they represent. They replaced primary care trusts in 2013.

Earlier this year the governing bodies of Norfolk and Waveney's five commissioning groups unveiled proposals to merge and create one large CCG.

The governing bodies claim there are "very clear" advantages for merging into one larger CCG, including saving money by creating one single staff team to manage the area.

There are around 400 people currently working across Norfolk and Waveney's five CCGs and while the restructure is likely to mean job cuts, health bosses have said it would be inappropriate to say how many jobs will be lost as a result of the changes which are hoped will help save £2.6m in running costs for the year 2020/21 compared to 2019/19.

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In a statement, the governing bodies for the five CCGs said they were working with unions and giving staff the chance to have their say on the proposals by launching a draft staffing structure.

The statement said: "The CCGs have discussed their proposals with staff unions over the past weeks and months. The unions specifically asked for a 45-day period of staff consultation which the CCGs readily agreed to. Unions have also been notified of a large number of further staff question and answer sessions which are taking place."

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The staff consultation follows a public one which closed on September 6.

Melanie Craig, chief officer of the five CCGs, said: "We have received very positive responses for this proposal from many people including partners such as NHS Trusts and local authorities. All of them stress we must maintain local relationships, locally-focussed commissioning and clinical leadership and we absolutely agree.

"A new single CCG would have very strong local teams based in Beccles, Norwich and King's Lynn led by senior locality directors, drawing on local doctors and nurses to lead and guide our work for each of the areas we serve."

Later this month the governing bodies of Norfolk and Waveney's five CCGs, will decide whether to submit an application to merge into a single CCG to NHS England, with the merger then going ahead by the end of March 2020.

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