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CCGs in talks over biggest ever merger in England

Three CCGs in Birmingham and Solihull have said they are considering merging to create the largest group in England.

Teams from NHS Birmingham CrossCity CCG – which is already the biggest in the country – NHS Birmingham South Central CCG and NHS Solihull CCG have been meeting over the past few weeks to consider how to work more effectively by developing a ‘single commissioning voice’.

The groups have considered five options, ranging from ‘do nothing’ to a single commissioning function across Birmingham and Solihull.

The CCGs said in a statement: ‘It was felt that achieving this single voice would be made possible through a functional coming together of the three CCGs, working effectively as one organisation.

‘This would lead to a greater ability to make the decisions needed to take on the challenges ahead.’

Accountable officers at each CCG will review all options for reorganising the CCGs before making a final recommendation to their governing bodies.

They said: ‘Through the unified commissioning voice, we need to ensure that we continue to focus on the needs of our local populations, while also gaining the benefits of commissioning health services across the whole of Birmingham and Solihull.

‘We believe that radical transformation will only be achieved by shifting resources into prevention, early intervention, communities and primary care.’