• Mid and south Essex CCGs set out plans for single team by April 2020
  • Area aiming to be a single CCG by April 2021
  • Mid Essex CCG will host the single team

The five mid and south Essex clinical commissioning groups have set out plans for a single accountable officer and executive team by April 2020.

Mid Essex CCG will “host” the joint team which will also oversee Basildon and Brentwood, Castlepoint and Rochford, Thurrock and Southend CCGs.

A report for Mid Essex CCG’s September board meeting indicated it was part of the process of moving towards one CCG for the whole system by April 2021.

It followed a letter from NHS England and Improvement’s regional director for the East of England, Ann Radmore, in July, to all AOs across the region, in which she said she wanted to “confirm the national expectation of having a single CCG per ICS by April 2021”. The wording appears to be stronger than January’s NHS long-term plan which states only that “typically” there will be one CCG per ICS.

The Essex CCGs will advertise for a new accountable officer in November with a view of having them in place by January 2020. They will oversee the appointment of their executive team to be operational by April 2020.

The paper said: “Accountable officers have agreed to recommend to the CCG governing bodies that Mid Essex CCG should be the host employer of the newly appointed single accountable officer and executive team, as it already hosts the joint commissioning team for the five CCGs.”

The mid and south Essex acute providers are also in the process of a merger.

Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals Foundation Trust, Southend University Hospital FT and Mid Essex Hospital Services Trust have combined revenues of around £850m.

They have rebranded as the “Mid and South Essex University Hospitals Group” with a formal statutory merger due to be completed by April.

The financially challenged area has significant debts on both provider and acute side and remains a long way off being granted integrated care system status.

CORRECTED: 27 September 14:48 to reflect it is Thurrock CCG, not West Essex CCG, as first reported, which is involved with the plan.