STRUCTURE: Two clinical commissioning groups hope to alleviate their financial stress by saving millions of pounds through integrated commissioning arrangements with local authorities.

Northern Eastern and Western Devon CCG’s governing body, which has a turnover of £1.1bn turnover, has approved plans to integrate commissioning with Plymouth City Council’s social care services.

The arrangement aims to reduce its £309m spend on health services in its western reaches by up to 12 per cent.

A separate plan by £250m-turnover North Somerset CCG to integrate services with North Somerset Council could cut £20m off their collective health and social care bill over the next decade.

The council and CCG have bid for £670,000 from the Department for Communities and Local Government’s transformation challenge fund to help take their plans forward. They are also seeking to use £450,000 from their capital budgets to fund their integration plans.

The north Somerset CCG and authority proposes creating a single directorate to manage almost all aspects of children’s health, education and social care in the areas.

Dr Mary Backhouse, chief clinical officer at North Somerset CCG, said: “With a growing, ageing population and challenging financial position this bid to the transformation challenge award presents an opportunity to further develop truly integrated commissioning of health and social care within North Somerset.”

Older people in care home

The north Somerset plan is in response to the region’s growing ageing population

Under the NEW Devon and Plymouth City Council plan, an interim arrangement will be established next March to jointly commission community health and social care services.

This will be followed by a more formal arrangement the following March.

While they aim to establish a single commissioning function and to pool budgets, it has not yet been decided whether the CCG or the authority will formally hold the budget.

A paper to the CCG’s recent board meeting said integrated commissioning would “provide the opportunity to commission an integrated provider function stretching across health and social care”.

Chief officer Rebecca Harriott told HSJ more integrated working could make a “contribution” to addressing the area’s financial challenge.

NEW Devon has been designated one of the most financially challenged health economies in the country by NHS England.