• NHSE approves merger of another seven CCGs to create two new organisations; Berkshire West CCG and East Berkshire CCG
  • All seven CCGs involved in accountable care systems
  • In total, NHSE has approved 18 CCGs to merge to create six new organisations in 2017.

NHS England has approved clinical commissioning mergers in a further two areas, bringing together seven more CCGs. 

The additional CCGs mergers that have NHS Engand’s commissioning committee has approved in principle are:

  • A new Berkshire West CCG, created by the merger of Newbury & District CCG, North & West Reading CCG, South Reading CCG and Wokingham CCG
  • A new East Berkshire CCG, created by the merger of Bracknell & Ascot CCG, Slough CCG, Windsor, Ascot & Maidenhead CCG

HSJ reported yesterday that NHS England had confirmed it had approved mergers in four areas, involving 11 separate commissioning groups. The Berkshire mergers were approved at the same time but were not disclosed to HSJ by NHS England.

In total 18 CCGs are now being combined to create six new, larger, commissioning groups.

It is by far the biggest commissioning consolidation since CCGs were established in 2013, with mergers approved in only two areas - City of Manchester and Newcastle Gateshead - prior to this. 

The two new Berkshire CCGs will match the patches of their predecessor primary care trusts, which were abolished in 2013 - as will the newly merged CCGs for Leeds and for Buckinghamshire.

The merger are expected to be completed in April 2018.

With some notable exceptions, the majority of CCGs involved in the six mergers are well regarded and are already cooperating, with shared leadership and joint commissioning.

These two additional mergers are no exception, with NHS England rating all seven CCGs involved as outstanding in July.

Both merged CCGs will be involved in one of the first nine accountable care systems picked by NHS England in March

For the four Berkshire West CCGs, plans to merge have been in development since 2014.

In March 2016, the four CCGs signed a memorandum of understanding with Royal Berkshire and Berkshire Healthcare foundation trusts to form the Berkshire West accountable care system.

The three CCGs that will form East Berkshire CCGs are all part of the highly regarded Frimley Health sustainability and transformation partnership (and ACS), one of only five rated outstanding in July.

East Berskire CCG accountable officer, John Lisle, said “The merger is a natural next step in working closer together across East Berkshire, where we have shared a management team for over a year now.”

The mergers reported yesterday were:

This story has been updated with additional information provided by the CCGs.

Seven more CCGs approved to merge in nationwide shake-up