Posted by Bobbie Walkem-Smith at 30/07/2014 11:26:43
Two clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) from Kent have agreed to progress plans to merge.
GP practices from NHS Ashford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Canterbury and Coastal CCG have voted in favour of merging.
With GP practice backing now secured, the CCGs are focusing on ensuring patient groups, councillors, MPs and providers are able to work with them on the detail of the plans.
Through merging, the CCGs hope to progress their vision of community networks at a greater pace. The community networks aim to provide more health and social care services closer to home.
A merger will also help the CCGs to strengthen clinical involvement and proactively manage any future financial risks.
Dr Mark Jones, Chair of NHS Canterbury and Coastal CCG, said: “I’m pleased that practices across our two organisations are supportive of the idea. Taking the merger idea to the next step is the right thing to do given the national NHS need to do more with less. We are being proactive about this issue to ensure our CCGs are fit for the future. It is still early days and the final approval will rest with NHS England.”
Dr Navin Kumta, Chair of NHS Ashford CCG, said: “We are already closely aligned organisations and share a senior leadership team. The merger proposal takes this joint working to the next level and will help us to focus on the delivery of community networks – something that will ensure we keep a vital locality focus as we progress plans to become one larger organisation.”
An NHS England approval process will start in the autumn. NHS England has the final say as to whether a merger can take place.
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If you have a question or comment in relation to the plans, please contact NHS Ashford CCG: 03000 424815 / firstname.lastname@example.org or NHS Canterbury and Coastal CCG: 01227 791359 / email@example.com.