Clinical commissioning groups’ mergers are now moving at pace. By April 2020, there will be just 135 CCGs, a drop of 56 since April 2019 and of 76 since they were first set up. For the first time, the number of CCGs will drop below the count of 152 primary care trusts before Mr Lansley came along in 2010.
HSJ’s map of the mergers reveals the huge variation in merger sizes, both in numbers and in geography. For example, Kent and Medway is merging eight CCGs into one, while the second largest mergers involve six CCGs. The smallest mergers involve just two CCGs. (And of course there remain a fair few small groups which are not merging at all, so far.)
It will be interesting to see how these new CCGs develop from April. The largest will need significant management support to serve their sizeable populations, and if they’re to keep various local constituencies happy.
More mergers will be expected in April 2021 — perhaps bringing the total into double figures. But despite NHS England repeating in the recent planning guidance that it would like to see one CCG per sustainability and transformation partnership/integrated care system, it is highly unlikely to get all that it wants.
NHS Clinical Commissioners’ outgoing chief Julie Wood recently agreed with HSJ’s earlier prediction that the final number of CCGs is likely to fall somewhere between 60 and 80 — substantially more than the current 42 STPs/ICSs.
The HSJ map reveals the new shape of the clinical commissioning group landscape following a wave of 74 mergers confirmed for April this year.
NHS England has approved the merger of 74 existing CCGs to establish 18 new ones.
It means the total number of CCGs is due to fall from 191 to 135 — a 29 per cent drop.
There is substantial variation in the number of existing CCGs merging to form a single new group. Kent and Medway Sustainability and Transformation Partnership is merging all eight of its commissioning bodies into one.
At the other end of the scale, the new Northamptonshire CCG will be formed by merging just two CCGs, as will County Durham CCG.
Three CCGs combining into one is the most common, with six new CCGs each being formed from three predecessors.
NHSE has given all the merging groups conditions which must be met before they can go ahead, but these are widely expected to be met.
Read full article on HSJ
Author: Sharon Brennan
Date: 5 February 2020