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West Norfolk CCG moves a step nearer to NHS countywide merger




West Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) - the body that oversees GPs locally - moved a step nearer being subsumed in an all-Norfolk body last week.

The governing bodies of the five NHS CCGs in Norfolk and Waveney, at public meetings, each agreed to submit an application to NHS England to merge by April.

Each considered the comments and feedback from about 250 people who responded to an online survey.

File photo dated 15/08/14 of a doctor. GPs across the UK are seeing far more patients than they think is safe, with some openly making mistakes, according to new research.. (17814200)
File photo dated 15/08/14 of a doctor. GPs across the UK are seeing far more patients than they think is safe, with some openly making mistakes, according to new research.. (17814200)

In addition, the 105 GP practices which form the membership of the CCGs were also asked to formally vote on the proposal.

Of the 79 votes cast, 72 voted in favour (91 per cent), which is regarded as a very high ‘turnout’ and a high positive response.

If NHS England supports the application in principle, with a decsion expected this month, the CCGs would begin the formal process to come together and create NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group, from April.

File photo dated 10/09/14 of a GP checking a patient's blood pressure. The NHS is experiencing a "worsening crisis" in its GP workforce, with four in 10 doctors wanting to leave the profession, researchers say.. (17814227)
File photo dated 10/09/14 of a GP checking a patient's blood pressure. The NHS is experiencing a "worsening crisis" in its GP workforce, with four in 10 doctors wanting to leave the profession, researchers say.. (17814227)

CCGs are responsible for commissioning most NHS healthcare, which involves planning what services are appropriate for the local area, holding contracts with organisations such as hospitals to provide treatment to patients and monitoring quality and performance.

Together the CCGs serve a population approaching 1.1 million people, and have a budget of £1.6 billion which pays for much of the health care that local people receive.

A statement from the clinical chairs of the five CCGs said: “We have been united in our belief that creating one large CCG will help us address some of the bigger issues in Norfolk and Waveney, such as demand on our hospitals and improving quality of services.

Chief Officer Melanie Craig, said: “Our CCGs have achieved much since they came into being in 2013 and we are absolutely determined that this will be strengthened and built upon, with locally-focused commissioning of health services and strong leadership and guidance from doctors and nurses.”

GPs are urging people to have blood pressure tests. (17814252)
GPs are urging people to have blood pressure tests. (17814252)

Former health secretary Patricia Hewitt is the independent Chair of the Norfolk and Waveney Sustainability and Transformation Partnership of local health and care organisations.

She said: “I strongly believe that as a system-wide CCG, it can make an even greater impact to transform services, improve care for patients and help them achieve better health and wellbeing.” Papers relating to the Governing Bodies meetings held in public are on each CCG’s website.


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