All eight clinical commissioning groups in Kent and Medway are to work together as a single strategic commissioner and share an accountable officer.

Initially, only six of the CCGs agreed to work together, with Thanet CCG saying it would not join and South Kent Coast CCG requesting more time to consider its decision.

Now, both Thanet and South Kent have agreed to join the other six CCGs and share a senior management team.

Sustainability and transformation partnership lead Glenn Douglas will be the accountable officer for all the CCGs. Caroline Selkirk will be managing director for East Kent, while Ian Ayres will be managing director for the north and west of the county and Medway.

The CCGs will remain as statutory bodies. Some commissioning responsibilities will remain at local level but others will sit with the strategic commissioner, which will operate as a joint committee of eight CCGs with some powers delegated to it. It will operate in shadow form in 2018-19 and proposals for a permanent model, which could include a full merger, will be developed during the year.

A report to the Kent County Council health overview and scrutiny committee this week suggested some NHS England functions could be devolved to the strategic commissioner.

Jonathan Bryant, clinical chair of South Kent Coast CCG, said: “I’m happy that South Kent Coast CCG will be playing a full and active part of the development of a strategic commissioner across Kent and Medway. We welcome Glenn Douglas as our new accountable officer and Caroline Selkirk as our managing director.”