• CCGs across STP patch to create single management structure
  • CCGs will form joint committee in April as part of future integration plans

Four clinical commissioning groups in the Black Country are set to move towards a “single management structure”, HSJ has learned.

Dudley, Sandwell and West Birmingham, Walsall, and Wolverhampton CCGs, have confirmed they plan to join management, and will begin the process by forming a joint committee in April this year.

In a board paper, published by Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG, commissioners also approved the recommendation to have a “single integrated acute provider”, alongside the transfer of some commissioning activity to new care model structures by April 2018.

The document published earlier this month said movement towards a Black Country and West Birmingham accountable care system will mean “incorporating the four CCGs (integrated together with a single shared management structure, chair and accountable officer) working together in partnership with a single integrated acute provider network and specialist mental health network”.

HSJ understands the CCGs will not be merging or moving towards a single accountable officer at the moment, however from April 2017 a joint committee will be created, chaired on a rational basis by each CCG.

The report added that from April 2018 CCGs will enable the “transfer of activities from CCGs to the new care models from April 2018” and “the establishment of a single integrated CCGs team from April 2018 to be able to fully implement new accountable care arrangements from April 2019”.

In July last year Paul Maubach, chief officer for Dudley CCG, took on the top job at Walsall CCG in addition, after the latter was placed into financial special measures by NHS England.

The Black Country STP footprint currently has four main acute providers - Royal Wolverhampton Trust, Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals Trust, Dudley Group Foundation Trust and Walsall Healthcare Trust. The latter three are partners of the Black Country Alliance, a joint venture partnership formed in 2015, while there are also separate local provider integration projects under way across the patch.