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NHS England approves merger of four CCGs in Cheshire

Four Cheshire CCGs will merge in April 2020 following formal approval of plans by NHS England/Improvement.

NHS Eastern Cheshire, NHS South Cheshire, NHS Vale Royal and NHS West Cheshire will be the first CCGs in Cheshire and Merseyside to merge on 1 April next year.

The merger comes after a public engagement exercise in May and June in which 76.5% of respondents were in favour of the merger. Some 86% of GP practices in the area voting on the changes were in favour in a subsequent ballot.

Clare Watson, accountable officer for Cheshire CCGs (pictured), said: ‘Working together as Cheshire will enable us to strengthen our work as a single team to ensure the people of Cheshire are able to access consistently good care wherever they live.

‘It will also enable us to further support the development of integrated care partnerships in Cheshire East and Cheshire West, which will provide more care closer to home.’

Dr Chris Ritchieson, clinical chair of NHS West Cheshire CCG, who chaired the meeting at which the result of the GP ballot was confirmed, added: ‘We would also like to once again acknowledge the time and consideration that our four GP memberships dedicated to reaching their decision, which supported our ambition to create a single strategic commissioner for Cheshire.’