Suffolk health bosses back NHS shake-up which would see three CCGs share staff and leadership
NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group
Health leaders have unveiled their vision for a new partnership which would see three NHS groups link up and share leadership.
Governors at the Ipswich and East Suffolk clinical commissioning group (CCG) have announced their backing for a regional shake-up involving the neighbouring West Suffolk and North East Essex CCGs.
Under the proposals all three groups – responsible for planning some NHS services including GP practices – will have a shared committee, recruit a single accountable officer and occasionally share staff.
Chiefs set out their vision for the collaboration at a public meeting – with all members of the governing body voting in its favour.
Recruitment for a single officer to oversee all three groups will begin soon and should be completed by August, said Amanda Lyes, chief corporate services officer for the Suffolk CCGs.
Joint committee members should also be in post by the end of the summer.
Mrs Lyes, who previously reassured staff that redundancies aren’t on the current agenda, said: “This partnership provides both opportunities and challenges, to strengthen our commissioning and make necessary changes.
“Now is the time to take our work and ambition to the next level at pace to provide better and enhanced patient care, and make sure we put patients at the heart of everything we do.”
Chief transformation officer Richard Watson joined CCG chair Dr Mark Shenton in welcoming the plans, adding that they had been on the agenda for a while.
“This is evolution rather than revolution, it is a natural progression,” he said.
Under the refreshed model, some staff teams would also be shared.
The news comes as plans for a merger between Ipswich and Colchester hospitals take a huge leap forward with the full masterplan to go before the public tomorrow.
Healthwatch Suffolk chief executive Andy Yacoub previously welcomed the CCG proposals.
But he warned that any new system needs to be understood by the public.
“It really is too early to fully understand the implications for patients, carers and staff,” he added.
“Every effort must be made to communicate with local people in an honest way.”