Four clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in Surrey have now joined together to create one new commissioning organisation across the area, known as Surrey Heartlands CCG.
Clinical Commissioning Groups are responsible for commissioning, or ‘buying’, healthcare services for their local population such as community, mental health and hospital services.
From 1 April 2020, NHS East Surrey, Guildford and Waverley, North West Surrey and Surrey Downs CCGs formally come together as a singular organisation and continue to build on the joint working across the area that has developed over the past 18 months.
The merger follows guidance set out in the NHS Long-Term Plan, published in January this year, which set the expectation for health and care organisations (i.e. hospitals, mental health and community services, GPs, the ambulance service, commissioners and local authorities) to work more collaboratively across local areas and to take more collective responsibility for improving the health of local populations.
There will be no immediate impact on patients and the public following the merger, however service users will see some technical changes such as a new CCG name and branding, a move to one singular website and in time new external contact points. The organisation will be headed by the current Joint Accountable Officer of the four CCGs, Matthew Tait, and a single Executive Team.
Dr Charlotte Canniff, local GP and Clinical Chair of the new CCG, said: “Our main priority is, and always will be, our patients and the health and wellbeing of our local population. We have already spent 18 months working closely and building links across the four CCGs and this is the next logical step in our journey.
In light of the current situation with COVID-19, now more than ever, the importance of working together as a system across the county is vital, and the formalisation of us coming together will continue to strengthen our work in these unprecedented times”.