STRUCTURE: Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group plans to jointly commission children’s services in Cambridgeshire with the local authority.

A similar arrangement was formally introduced in Peterborough since the start of the month.

Under the planned arrangement, a board comprising representatives from the CCG, Cambridgeshire County Council, the Children’s Trust and NHS England will be responsible for commissioning children’s community health services and children and adolescent mental health services.

The services, provided by Cambridgeshire Community Services and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Foundation Trust, are currently commissioned by the CCG alone.

The CCG will retain control of its commissioning budget and there are currently no plans to pool budgets with the council.

A spokeswoman for the CCG said: “This is the first step in a large scale change and at this time the CCG feels that it is not ready to commit to pooled budgets, but this will be reviewed as the process develops.”

She added the a new arrangement is a “way of ensuring a more cohesive use of available funding to enable better services for the children and young people in a time when budgets are shrinking and demand is increasing”.

She said it is an “extension” of the CCG’s “history of close working with the local authorities”.

The CCG already jointly funds a head of joint commissioning with Cambridgeshire County Council, who is employed by council.

The council is also involved in commissioning services such as integrated occupational therapy, substance misuse services for young people, bereavement counselling, domestic violence, youth offending service, parent participation, young people’s counselling and home start family support services. Each of these services has a separate legal agreement.

The new arrangement will be formalised through a Section 75 agreement, which is currently being finalised.