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Four Cheshire CCGs to merge in April 2020

NHS England / Improvement has formally approved an application to bring together Cheshire’s four NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Accountable Officer Clare Watson (pictured) received confirmation on Tuesday, October 15th that NHS Eastern Cheshire, NHS South Cheshire, NHS Vale Royal and NHS West Cheshire will become the first CCGs in Cheshire and Merseyside to merge on April 1st 2020.

Already supported by Cheshire residents and GPs, the move will bring together the planning and buying of health services across the county and give Cheshire a more powerful voice in championing the needs of local people at regional and national level.

Clare Watson said: “We are delighted to receive approval from NHS England / Improvement for our application to bring together the four Cheshire CCGs. I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in supporting our work to come together so far. This includes staff, GP members, partner organisations and the people of Cheshire.

“Working Together As Cheshire will enable us to strengthen our work as a single team to ensure the people of Cheshire are able to access consistently good care – wherever they live. It will also enable us to further support the development of Integrated Care Partnerships in Cheshire East and Cheshire West which will provide more care closer to home.”

A public engagement exercise conducted across Cheshire in May and June 2019 drew widespread support for proposals to bring together the four CCGs, with 76.5% of the 376 respondents in favour of the creation of a single Cheshire CCG.

A subsequent ballot of GP member practices in each of the four CCG areas drew even stronger support, with 86% of responses across Cheshire in favour of a merger.

Dr Chris Ritchieson, Chair of NHS West Cheshire CCG, chaired the Governing Body Committees in Common meeting on September 26th at which the outcome of the GP ballot was confirmed.

He said: “Along with Dr Andrew Wilson, GP Chair of NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG, and NHS South Cheshire CCG, and Dr Jonathan Griffiths, GP Chair of NHS Vale Royal CCG, we would like to extend our thanks to our partners and members of the public who took the time to share their thoughts and feedback.

“We would also like to once again acknowledge the time and consideration that our four GP Memberships dedicated in reaching their decision, which supported our ambition to create a single strategic commissioner for Cheshire.”