Number of CCGs to be cut by a fifth next month

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Health Service Journal writes that more than a third of proposed “integrated care systems” will still contain more than one clinical commissioning group next year, according to analysis.

Under government legislation proposals, all CCGs would be subsumed into new statutory integrated care systems, most likely in April 2023.

However, local leaders have been under pressure for several years from NHS England to merge so there is a single CCG in each of the current 42 non-statutory ICS areas. The NHS long-term plan said all areas would become ICS in April this year and “this will typically involve a single CCG for each ICS area”.

If the government passes its planned legislation, where CCGs have not merged by the time ICSs are made statutory, there will be more organisational upheaval at that point.

There has been a surge of CCG mergers over the last two years due to budget cuts and in anticipation of the changes, and it has now been confirmed that a further 38 CCGs will merge into nine new CCGs this April.

After that, the current 135 CCGs will be reduced to 106 (a 21.5 per cent reduction)  — and there will still be 15 current ICS with more than one CCG in their area. There were more than 200 CCGs created in 2013, under the reforms led by former health secretary Andrew Lansley.

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Date: 4 March 2021