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Health services merger opposed

By Megan Archer | Staffordshire | Health | Published:

A MERGER of Clinical Commissioning Groups across Staffordshire is being opposed by the council.

A merger of Clinical Commissioning Groups across Staffordshire is being opposed by the council

There are plans to merge the six separate Clinical Commissioning Groups in the county, including Cannock Chase and Stafford and Surrounds, to form one single body.

A public consultation was launched on the proposals and put to the public in May.

Experts say it could reduce the pressure on doctors, nurses and other staff in the NHS by combining all the CCGs – including Cannock Chase, Stafford, and South East Staffordshire – into one.

But chiefs at Cannock Chase District Council are worried having just one body “in charge” could mean that GPs in Cannock no longer have a voice when it comes to the big decisions.

And at a meeting yesterday they rejected the idea. Councillor Gordon Alcott, deputy leader of the council, told the meeting: “This is a cost-cutting exercise. There is nothing in the report about benefits for patients.”

Council leader, councillor George Adamson, told the meeting: “All the money will go to the north of the county.

“We already have very bad levels of health and they would be made worse.” Councillor Christine Martin, health boss for the council, has written a letter in response to the proposals.

It says: “Locality commissioning is at the heart of the new model and the council has concerns that local GP influence on commissioning decisions could be reduced if the proposed merger goes ahead.”

If the merger goes ahead, the six CCGs across the county will form one Single Commissioning Organisation, with responsibility for the entirety of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent from 2020.

Accountable officer for the CCGs Marcus Warnes said that it would mean simpler decision-making processes, less replication of work, and a reduction in waste.

Megan Archer

By Megan Archer
Chief Reporter - @MeganA_Star

Chief Reporter with the Express & Star. Give me a call on 01902 319363 or email megan.archer@expressandstar.co.uk.

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