Three commissioning support units have announced they are planning to enter into a formal merger.

South, South West and Central Southern CSUs will merge into a single organisation on 1 April.

The new organisation, which will be called South, Central and West Commissioning Support, will cover a 10 million population across 37 clinical commissioning groups. It will span Sussex, Cornwall, Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire.

South and South West CSUs have already been working in partnership for 18 months as the South and West Commissioning Support Alliance. They submitted a single bid to NHS England’s lead provider framework to provide commissioning support services. Central Southern CSU submitted a separate bid to the framework.

Jan Hull, managing director of South West CSU, said: “The proposed merger will significantly increase the scale of our operations, and our ability to develop innovative, high quality and cost effective services for our customers.

Keith Douglas, managing director of South CSU said: “Coming together… will give us much greater flexibility and sustainability to respond to the future commissioning challenges set out in the Five Year Forward View.”

Suzanne Tewkesbury, acting managing director of Central Southern CSU, said: “We will build on the links we have already established with South and South West, and have identified some early opportunities to share our best products and processes.”