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Proposed CCG merger across Staffordshire scrapped

By Thomas Parkes | Staffordshire | Health | Published:

A proposed merger of health groups across Staffordshire has been scrapped after GPs rejected the idea.

Six separate Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), responsible for handling healthcare for their areas, were set to merge to form one single body.

Experts said the move would help ease the pressure on doctors, nurses, and other staff by merging the CCGs – including Cannock Chase, Stafford, and South East Staffordshire – together.

But it has now officially been scrapped, with five CCGs rejecting the plans to form the Single Strategic Commissioning Organisation in 2020.

It comes after Cannock Chase Council raised concerns over the merger, with deputy leader Gordon Alcott calling it a “cost-cutting exercise” which had no benefits for patients.

The Governing Bodies of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent CCGs will no longer make the application to NHS England, it has been confirmed.

It means the healthcare bodies will remain separate but will continue to work together to create “further efficiencies” in the hopes of streamlining the service.

The CCG said: “This means that the Governing Bodies will continue to meet in common and make decisions but will remain as separate legal entities.

"The executive team will continue to work across the six organisations and work to create further efficiencies by doing things once rather than six times where it makes sense to do so."

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The vote, independently verified by the Local Medical Council, revealed the Stafford and Surrounds CCG was the only body to vote for the changes.

Dr Alison Bradley, chair of North Staffordshire CCG, chaired the meeting and said: "This decision follows many discussions with the CCGs’ GP membership, who considered the very informative feedback received from patients and stakeholders that was gathered over the summer.

“The governing bodies will continue to work together with the GP membership to address the concerns which led to this decision.”

Thomas Parkes

By Thomas Parkes
Trainee Reporter - @TParkes_Star

Trainee reporter at the Express & Star, based in Wolverhampton. Got a story? Get in touch at thomas.parkes@expressandstar.co.uk.

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