Currently, six clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) work across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent plan and buy health services for their local communities, led by GPs.
With the agreement of GP members, the CCGs are considering whether to apply to NHS England to form a Single Commissioning Organisation for Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. This will include talking to patients and the public to gather more views.
This would create a new organisation, bringing these six CCGs into one, where appropriate services are commissioned once to improve the health and wellbeing of the everyone in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. It would allow investment in GPs so they have a strong voice working with other partners in improving the lives of their patients in their local area.
People can give their views on how they feel they may be impacted by the development of a Single Commissioning Organisation an online survey from Monday 22 February to Sunday 14 March 2021.
Marcus Warnes, Accountable Officer for the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent CCGs, said: "We are proposing creating a new strategic commissioning organisation, bringing the six CCGs into one.
"Where appropriate, services would be commissioned once to improve the health and wellbeing of everyone in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.
"We will invest in our GPs so they have a strong voice working with other partners in improving the lives of their patients in their local area."
Dr Alison Bradley, Lead CCG Chair for the merger added: “With the Government publishing their White Paper on Health and Social Care, we believe this is the right time to be coming together as one organisation.
“This will help promote integration and innovation, with more streamlined decision making allowing us to make better use of proposed changes to commissioning policy.”
A single strategic commissioning organisation would follow the arrangements of the Health Scrutiny and Health and Wellbeing Boards at Staffordshire County Council and Stoke-on-Trent City Council. It would allow for more effective partnership working.
GP members will continue to work in local networks to inform decisions and services, based on local needs. The six CCGs have already done work to involve their Governing Bodies, and the 147 member GP practices.
Following this period of public engagement, a paper will be presented to the CCG Governing Bodies in Common meeting at the end of March. If agreed, an application will be made to NHS England with the intention of the single strategic commissioning organisation to be in place from 1 April 2022.