Planners of counties’ health care consider joining forces
We have a long history of collaboration across Leicestershire and Rutland and this represents the next step
THE three groups that run GP services in Leicestershire and Rutland are to work more closely together – and are considering a merger.
Governing bodies of Leicester City, West Leicestershire and East Leicestershire and Rutland clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) met last week and agreed to appoint a joint accountable officer and management team.
They said the move will create a “stronger and more consistent commissioning voice across the three CCG areas”, which will focus on delivering results whole and “holding providers to account for delivery”.
In addition, groups of GPs will be given increased responsibility for designing services that improve the health of the communities they serve. Professor Azhar Farooqi, clinical chairman of Leicester City CCG, said: “We have a long history of collaboration across Leicestershire and Rutland and this represents the next logical step. It gives us the opportunity to provide more clarity to providers, while reducing duplication and freeing up people to drive the kind of system transformation that we need.”
Professor Mayur Lakhani, clinical chairman of West Leicestershire CCG, said: “We believe this joint approach will help us to deliver our plans for improved care for patients. “At its heart is a commitment to thinking strategically across our three areas.” Dr Ursula Montgomery, clinical chairman of East Leicestershire and Rutland CCG, said: “I have already seen some great examples of collaboration and innovation in practice between our CCGs. “I am confident this move will help us to build upon those as we increasingly work in a more collaborative way than ever before.” The recruitment process for the new accountable officer will begin, subject to the outcome of consultation with affected individuals.
Firm proposals regarding the structure of the joint management team will be developed soon.
The three CCGs will remain as an independent statutory body. However, the CCGs have also agreed to consider the potential benefits of a legal merger. This work is expected to begin in early 2019, with the outcome of the review expected by mid-year.
TALKS: Prof Azhar Farooqi