A GP has been appointed to lead a joint management team across five north east clinical commissioning groups.

Dr Neil O’Brien will lead the team overseeing North Durham CCG, Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield CCG, South Tees CCG, Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees CCG and NHS Darlington CCG.

He is currently chief clinical officer at North Durham and has been a GP in Chester-le-Street for 16 years.

He will replace the current accountable officers at the CCGs when he takes up the position in October, although they will all remain independent organisations.

Ali Wilson at Darlington CCG and Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees CCGs will be retiring, with Dr Andrea Jones continuing in a senior clinical leadership role supporting Dr O’Brien Darlington and Hartlepool and Stockton-on –Tees area during the transition.

Amanda Hume South Tees CCG will be leaving to take up the executive lead role for system transformation and strategic commissioning in the region’s integrated care system.

Dr Stewart Findlay of Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield CCG will continue to work within the five CCGs aligned to county Durham.

In a joint statement the CCGs said Dr O’Brien will work with provider and local authority partners across Durham and the Tees Valley to improve the integration of services and move towards closer collaboration in planning and commissioning primary and community care, and health and social care integration.

Dr O’Brien stressed the five CCGs will remain independent organisations and added: “I am delighted to have been chosen for this exciting role and I am really looking forward, with the staff across the CCGs, to continue the excellent work taking place with partners across our local health and care systems.

“The CCGs will very much remain as separate organisations but by working together, we will be able to share expertise and deliver the best outcome for patients locally and regionally across Durham and Tees Valley, which is of course the ultimate goal.”

Ali Wilson leads the CCGs for Darlington and Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees, while Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield is led by Dr Stewart Findlay, and South Tees by Amanda Hume.

This story was updated at 2.35pm to confirm Dr Neil O’Brien will become the single accountable officer of all five CCGs.