Three clinical commissioning groups have appointed a chair for a new joint board being established ahead of their planned full merger.

Last month HSJ revealed the CCGs in Birmingham and Solihull would merge in April 2018, subject to NHS England’s approval.

Birmingham CrossCity, Birmingham South and Central, and Solihull CCGs announced today they have appointed Rhod Mitchell as chair designate of the new Birmingham and Solihull health commissioning board.

The board, which will oversee the merger, will meet for the first time next month.

Mr Mitchell has worked as a lay adviser at Solihull CCG since September 2015, and has chaired the CCG’s joint commissioning with NHS England for primary care.

He has previously served as vice chair of Wakefield CCG. Outside the NHS, Mr Mitchell has been a magistrate and worked for over 20 years in hospitality, including running his own consultancy business.

The new Birmingham position is part time. Mr Mitchell will work for the board two and a half days a week.

The three CCGs already jointly commission acute, children’s and mental health services.

Mr Mitchell said: “I am looking forward to the challenge of bringing the functions of the CCGs together and overseeing this vital first part of the process. The joint committee will be responsible for helping the three CCGs transform into a single commissioning voice and will be working very closely with the clinical leads and the current CCG chairs. It will be essential for ensuring the proactive, robust and cohesive arrangements that will be required, as we work towards the new organisation going live in 2018.”