Health leaders are seeking the views of local patients and organisations on proposals to merge Derbyshire’s four clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) into a single organisation.
Commissioners say the aim is to strengthen how CCG staff work efficiently together, to commission services which are equally available to all residents across the county, and to make the best use of the money available to the local NHS.
The four Derbyshire CCGs - Erewash, Hardwick, North Derbyshire and Southern Derbyshire- have been working closely together for the last two years, having in- common or joint meetings where this has helped to speed up and unify decision making processes, and have appointed a single Chief Executive Officer and Chief Finance Officer as the first steps towards joint management.
The CCG Governing Bodies say they feel the time is now right to bring the organisations together formally in a merger as a final step in the development of a single commissioning approach across the county.
Dr Chris Clayton, Chief Executive Officer of the Derbyshire CCGs, said:
“This is an exciting opportunity. Making strategic commissioning decisions across a single CCG will benefit local patients by providing consistency and reducing duplication, both for ourselves as health service commissioners and for the hospitals, community and mental health services we contract with. It will help improve services for over one million patients by reducing variation in quality and access to care and will drive up standards across all providers.
“As we seek the views of local people about the merger, it’s also very important to help people understand that we are also fully committed to accelerating the implementation of what has become known as ‘place-based’ commissioning, where local GP practices and other partner services get much more involved in determining some of the services they believe are required specifically for patients in their own area.
“This will help to tackle local health issues whilst at the same time making sure everyone has the same access to universal health care across the county. The merger and place-based commissioning go very much hand in hand, and it is very important that we are able to keep a strong local voice in our commissioning operations.”