Plans to create one NHS Clinical Commissioning Group to oversee Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent will be put to the public in May and June 2019.
It will allow patients, community and voluntary groups, health and social care providers, the wider public and local authorities to express their views in a consultation proposal that will set to change the boundary when it comes to commissioning healthcare services for the county.
Health and social care commissioning is currently the responsibility of six separate Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), who cover the following areas:
- NHS Stoke-on-Trent CCG
- NHS Cannock Chase CCG
- NHS East Staffordshire CCG
- NHS North Staffordshire CCG
- NHS South East Staffordshire and Seisdon Peninsula CCG
- NHS Stafford and Surrounds CCG.
In the last few years, these six CCGs have chosen to develop a closer working relationship, and now have a single leadership team. They also hold Governing Body meetings ‘in common’ so that any strategic decisions affecting the whole population can be made. They are now proposing to formalise their closer relationship in the creation of a Single Commissioning Organisation (SCO), with responsibility for the entirety of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent from April 2020.
An application was made by the CCGs to NHS England in December 2018, confirming their intention to develop and operate as a single organisation. The new SCO would be responsible for the decision-making and buying of all health and care services from hospitals and primary care, health and social care, mental health and physical health for more than 1.1 million residents in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.
Consultation has already taken place with the Governing Bodies of the six CCGs and with more than 150 GP surgeries in the region. The next phase of the consultation will happen throughout May and June 2019, and will gather views from a wide range of stakeholders, including:
- patients and the wider general public
- patient participation groups
- staff across the local health and social care sector
- hospitals and NHS Trusts across the county;
- community and voluntary organisations
- Staffordshire County Council
- Stoke-on-Trent City Council
- Health Overview and Scrutiny Committees
- Health and Wellbeing Boards.
Participants will be asked whether they support the proposal to create a Single Commissioning Organisation to oversee the entire county, or if they would prefer to keep the current system. They will also get the opportunity to express any feedback they may have regarding how the CCGs currently operate and how commissioning will work in future.
Marcus Warnes, who is Accountable Officer for the CCGs said: “The views of staff, patients, our partners and the wider public are invaluable to us, and we would encourage as many people as possible participate in determining the future of local health and social care in the county. The six CCGs have been working more and more closely over the last few years, which has had many benefits for our patients. We’d like to take the next logical step and combine the CCGs into one entity.
“Creating a Single Commissioning Organisation has many advantages, including simpler decision-making processes, less replication of work, and a reduction in waste. Instead of spending our time balancing multiple budgets in smaller areas, we’d be focused on the financial performance of the region as a whole. A more streamlined bureaucracy will also reduce costs by realising greater economies of scale.
“The SCO would also give GPs more control over how money is spent in their local areas and allow for more opportunities to share best practice amongst clinicians. We also expect the patient experience to improve as the public will have access to more joined-up services and better access to those services. In addition, the SCO would put greater emphasis on improving county-wide population health through prevention, as part of a strategy to reduce the demand for health and social care services.”
The consultation begins on Thursday 9 May 2019 and runs until midnight Sunday 30 June 2019 (this has been extended). There are many different ways to share your views with us:
- Complete the feedback form at https://nhs.researchfeedback.net/s.asp?k=155662891627
- Call us on 01782 298 002
- Attend our public meetings (all 7-8pm, with arrival from 6.30pm):
- 22 May, Medical Institute, Hartshill, Stoke-on-Trent ST4 7NY
- 23 May, The George Hotel, Lichfield, WS13 6PR
- 28 May, St. Edwards Academy, Leek ST13 8DN
- 29 May, Entrust, Stafford ST16 3TH
- 4 June, Aquarius Ballroom, Hednesford, Cannock WS12 1BT
- 5 June, Pirelli Stadium, Burton DE13 0BH
- 7 June, Bill Brownhill Room, South Staffordshire District Council, WV8 1PX (Registration 1pm: Event opens 1.30pm and closes 2.30pm)
- To book a place on any of the events, visit https://nhs.researchfeedback.net/s.asp?k=155731895704
- Write to us at Freepost Plus RTAA-XTHA-LGCC, Communications, Heron House, 120 Grove Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 4LX
We will also be sharing information about the consultation through our public Twitter (@StaffsCCGs) and Facebook (fb.com/StaffsCCGs) accounts.
All major changes proposed by CCGs require stakeholder engagement and consultation before and during the change process, as set out in the Health and Social Care Act 2012. The CCGs are also mindful of their Public Sector Equality Duty and will actively reach out to a diverse range of stakeholders for their views as part of the consultation.