• Six CCGs in Nottinghamshire will merge as one organisation from April 2020
  • Leader Amanda Sullivan says it is a “crucial piece of architecture” for the health system

The merger of six clinical commissioning groups in Nottinghamshire has been confirmed, following approval by NHS England.

The CCGs already share an accountable officer, Amanda Sullivan, but will now formally merge in April 2020.

Nottinghamshire’s urgent and emergency care system has struggled with increasing demand pressures and capacity issues, with Nottingham University Hospitals Trust frequently on “black alert” over the last year.

Ms Sullivan told HSJ the integration of the county’s CCGs should help combat some of those pressures, partly by working to “join up the out of hospital offer”.

The six commissioning groups include three in Nottingham, plus Rushcliffe, Newark and Sherwood, and Mansfield and Ashfield. They will become a “single strategic commissioner”, called Nottingham and Nottinghamshire CCG.

It comes as CCGs across England are being told to reduce their running costs by 20 per cent, which has prompted a flurry of mergers. NHS England has also suggested there will typically be one CCG for each “integrated care system”, such as Nottingham and Notts.

Ms Sullivan said the merger was a “critical piece of architecture” for the ICS.

She added: “There is [also] a lot of work with the providers thinking about how they might collaborate together more. I think it will be a journey of taking on bigger areas to integrate and we will work through that collaboratively.”

She also stressed the importance of the new primary care networks and having a “fleet of interventions at neighbourhood level by practices working together at scale”.

*This article was corrected at 08:45 to reflect that the Nottinghamshire system has not frequently been on “black alert” but rather NUH.