Wanted: single executive for merged CCG

Big strides forward: the five mid and south Essex clinical commissioning groups have set out plans for a single accountable officer and executive team by April 2020

This is an edited version of an article first published in the Health Service Journal.

Mid Essex CCG will “host” the joint team which will also oversee Basildon and Brentwood, Castlepoint and Rochford, Thurrock and Southend CCGs.

report for Mid Essex CCG’s September board meeting indicated this was part of the process of moving towards one CCG for the whole system by April 2021.

This followed a letter from Ann Radmore, NHS England and Improvement’s regional director for the East of England. The letter addressed all accountable officers (AOs) across the region and included Radmore’s wish to, ‘confirm the national expectation of having a single CCG per integrated care system (ICS) by April 2021.’ The wording is stronger than January’s NHS Long Term Plan which states only that ‘typically’ there will be one CCG per ICS.

The Essex CCGs will advertise for a new accountable officer in November, with a view to having them in place by January 2020. They will oversee the appointment of their executive team to ensure they are operational by April 2020.

‘Accountable officers have agreed to recommend to the CCG governing bodies that Mid Essex CCG should be the host employer of the newly appointed single accountable officer and executive team,’ the paper stated, “as it already hosts the joint commissioning team for the five CCGs.’

The mid and south Essex acute providers are also in the process of merging; Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals Foundation Trust, Southend University Hospital Foundation Trust and Mid Essex Hospital Services Trust have combined revenues of around £850m. They have rebranded as the ‘Mid and South Essex University Hospitals Group’ with a formal statutory merger due to be completed by April.

The financially challenged area has significant debts and remains a long way off being granted integrated care system status.

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