NHS England looks set to continue the trend of reducing the number of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) through allowing merging of existing CCGs. In fact, NHS England is promoting the strategy to some extent as a way to reduce costs, particularly at the management level.
According to the Health Services Journal:
“Two sets of mergers – involving CCGs in Derbyshire and Devon – have been approved subject to specified conditions being met. Both the areas have faced substantial financial or performance problems. If the mergers go ahead it will mean Derbyshire and Devon sustainability and transformation partnerships would have one CCG each…
“In a letter to CCGs this month, NHS England said it would “particularly support” mergers which create “a single CCG area with a single integrated care system”. The letter also said areas should be ”exploring mergers and joint ways of working” as a way to make mandated 20 per cent administrative budget cuts, and that it would now consider merger applications through the year rather than only on an annual basis.”