• Proposals for a joint management team across CCGs and adult social care services in Bury, Rochdale and Oldham
  • Potential for single health and wellbeing board also being considered
  • Plans seen as best way to drive through reconfiguration of hospital services

Commissioning chiefs are working on plans for a potential single management team and decision making body for health and social care services across three boroughs in Greater Manchester.

Leaders in Bury, Rochdale and Oldham are drawing up proposals for a joint management team across their clinical commissioning groups and adult social care services, as part of the boroughs’ integration agenda, HSJ understands.

It is unclear at this stage whether this would lead to a reduction in senior roles.

Potential plans for a single health and wellbeing board are also being considered, which would act as a formal decision making body sitting above the single management team. This would take decisions that affect the whole area, such as major service changes, HSJ understands. There are currently three HWBs that sit within the three borough councils.

The plans are seen as the best way to drive through reconfiguration of hospital services, and would deliver simpler commissioning arrangements for the troubled Pennine Acute Hospitals Trust.

Coupled with the move towards integrated “local care organisations” to deliver out of hospital services, the plans are similar to those being pursued in the city of Manchester. However, it is not thought that merging the three CCGs is being actively considered at this stage.

The area covering the boroughs of Bury, Rochdale and Oldham is known as the north east sector.

Sir David Dalton, chief executive of Pennine Acute Hospitals Trust and Salford Royal Foundation Trust, said: “I welcome the work being undertaken within the north east sector, with support from Mike Farrar as the independent chair of the oversight group.

“Leaders from the CCGs and local authorities have committed to working towards a commissioning system that does things ‘once together’ in an integrated approach. Given the journey we are on with improving services across Pennine Acute, the simpler and more effective the commissioning, the better.”

A joint statement from the councils and CCGs said: “NHS and local authority commissioners, as well as providers, are continuing to work together to draft proposals for system feedback and next steps.”

Plans to transfer North Manchester General Hospital, currently run by Pennine Acute, to a newly merged foundation trust for the city of Manchester have already been revealed.