• CCGs in Derbyshire approve plans to create single commissioning organisation across thier STP footprint by April 2018
  • Plan to appoint a single accountable officer in the near future

The four clinical commissioning groups in Derbyshire are to begin recruitment for a single shared chief officer, and are planning to move to a ”single strategic commissioning organisation”.

North Derbyshire, South Derbyshire, Erewash and Hardwick CCGs make up the Derbyshire STP.

They plan to recruit a single accountable officer shared across all four ”as soon as possible”, according to governing body papers published on 25 May. The process is expected to begin imminently.

The North Derbyshire CCG paper states: “All four Derbyshire CCGs supported a paper in February/March 17 to form a single strategic commissioning organisation by April 18 with a transition year in 17-18.”

The document adds that the CCGs “proposed establishment of a single [accountable officer] across the four CCGs, as soon as possible with the further development of a joint executive team across Derbyshire and this work is now in progress”.

A joint governance arrangement is being drafted and is expected to be approved by governing bodies next month, the paper states.

There has been a rapid increase in the number of CCGs sharing chief officers over the past 12 months, with the number roughly doubling. NHS England indicated in the autumn that it would lift its unofficial ”moratorium” on CCG mergers. However, CCGs in only two areas have so far merged altogether: in Newcastle and, last month, in the city of Manchester. CCGs in several other areas have said they would like to merge.

A spokeswoman for the four Derbyshire CCGs said: “The CCGs in Derbyshire have put forward plans to move towards a single commissioning organisation. However, we are unable to share more information until after the general election.”

Meanwhile, Tracy Allen, chief executive of Derbyshire Community Health Services Foundation Trust, has been appointed as the interim lead of the Derbyshire STP.

Ms Allen was appointed to the role earlier this year after the previous lead, Gary Thompson, chief officer for Southern Derbyshire CCG, announced he was taking a long term leave of absence.