A single leader will be appointed to drive health service commissioning across the greater Nottingham health economy, HSJ has learned.

The area was named last week by NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens as one of the first eight areas which will develop an “accountable care system”.

Next week commissioners in the region will meet to agree a plan for integrating commissioning across the area. A new joint committee will consider the health needs of the Nottinghamshire population along with a single “accountable officer”.

A statement from the four greater Nottingham clinical commissioning groups said the role would be “responsible for setting the direction of healthcare commissioning for the area”.

A unified commissioning vision is seen as a necessary development for the four CCGs: Nottingham City, Nottingham North and East, Nottingham West, and Rushcliffe.

The development is in line with the county’s sustainability and transformation plan, published last year. It warned of a potential funding shortfall of £628m by 2021 if the NHS and local councils did nothing.

A spokesman for the four CCGs said: “Nottingham and Nottinghamshire are already among the leading areas in the country in terms of working together to provide better quality of care by joining up GP, community, mental health, hospital and social care services.

“However, in order to deliver sustainable high quality care to the populations we serve, we need to look beyond our own organisational boundaries to ensure we get the best value from sharing resources.

“That’s why local commissioners are exploring proposals to merge functions as well as developing a fully integrated and accountable healthcare system for Greater Nottingham.”

The proposed integrated commissioning process is designed to deliver a single process for commissioning healthcare for all four CCGs.

Over the next two years the CCGs intend to redesign services to increase collaboration between health and social care, and reduce reliance on acute services. The STP advocates removing 200 beds from Nottingham University Hospitals Trust over the next two years.

More services will be delivered in the community with integrated teams, ultimately with all health and social care potentially provided under the umbrella of an ACS contract for Nottinghamshire.

The CCGs will meet next Wednesday and are expected to approve the plans and move to make an appointment in time for the new accountable officer to start in September.