What are we asking for your views about?

Local Healthwatch have been asked by local NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) to find out what you think about their plans to create new clinical commissioning groups, replacing the five clinical commissioning groups in Teesside, Durham and Darlington.

The options for consideration are:

1. A single CCG across the integrated care system i.e: Cumbria and the North East.

2. A single CCG across the 5 CCGs currently working together in our collaborative i.e. NHS Darlington CCG, NHS Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield CCG, NHS Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees CCG, NHS North Durham CCG and NHS South Tees CCG

3. A single CCG across each Integrated Care Partnership i.e. the Southern ICP and the central ICP, or;

4. A single Tees Valley CCG and a single Durham CCG with a continued shared management structure.

What are clinical commissioning groups?

Clinical Commissioning Groups took over responsibility for planning, buying and monitoring (commissioning) local health services in April 2013. They work to improve population health, by tackling health inequalities, to improve life expectancy and the quality of life and to ensure local people can get the services they need when they are unwell.

Why are changes being made?

The proposal is a chance to consider if clinical commissioning group mergers might offer further benefits to current ways of working.

It is not about any other NHS organisations like hospitals and mental health, community or family doctor (GP) services - or any health and care services provided by the NHS or local councils. It does not affect any services they buy from voluntary and community sector (VCS) or any other organisations.

In 2018, NHS England and NHS Improvement told clinical commissioning groups that they would be reducing administration costs by 20% by 31st March 2020. In turn they asked clinical commissioning groups to reduce their own running costs by 20%. The reduction won't affect frontline patient services but will affect the staffing arrangements within clinical commissioning groups.

Merging the groups would allow closer working and simplified governance arrangements. This would make the clinical commissioning groups more efficient, saving money from management to direct towards patient care, and support local health and care partners in improving local people's health and the services they use.

How will your views be used?

All of the views that are received will be summarised and presented to the clinical commissioning groups governing bodies to help them decide on a proposal to create a new clinical commissioning group or groups.

Who will make the final decision?

The Governing Bodies of each CCG will make the decision about whether to apply to NHS England to merge the CCGs once they have the views of GP ‘members’, staff, partners and the public.

The results of this engagement will be discussed when the Governing Bodies consider the merger proposal at their meetings in August 2019 in Tees Valley and in Durham.

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* 1. Are you responding as an individual or on behalf of an organisation? (Please tick which one applies)

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* 2. Please indicate which Clinical Commissioning Group area you live in?

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* 3. What benefits could you see from Clinical Commissioning Groups merging?

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* 4. What concerns do you have about the Clinical Commissioning Groups merging?

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* 5. Is there anything else you would like to tell us, or any questions which have not been answered?

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