Proposal for just one team and governing body across the three areas

Discussions are underway with Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), following the announcement to create one CCG by April 2021.

CCGs are the organisations that buy NHS products and services for the local population. The proposal comes following a mandate, outlined in the NHS Long Term Plan, that CCGs should be aligned to one Integrated Care System.

In November 2018, steps were taken to streamline BLMK CCGs by appointing a single Accountable Officer and Executive team across all three organisations.

The BLMK Commissioning Collaborative reduced duplication, but the CCGs remained sovereign organisations. Meaning that they retained their own governing bodies and management structures.

The new proposal goes a step further by collapsing the three CCGs to create one organisation, with one team and one governing body across the three areas.

Patricia Davies, accountable officer for the BLMK Commissioning Collaborative, said:

“For the last eighteen months, we have been working more effectively across the area to commission services for our population, and we have started to see some benefits.

“By applying for funding as a bigger population, we have been able to roll out consistent policies across the area – not least in perinatal mental health, where we have been able to launch a new service in Bedfordshire and Luton and expand the existing service in Milton Keynes.

“Becoming one single CCG will make us a more influential commissioner and give us more negotiating power, which will allow us to improve the quality of care for our patients.

“It also means that instead of doing something three times, we’ll do it once – cutting management costs, which can be invested into the workforce and front line services.”

The proposal to become one CCG will be submitted to NHS England in September 2020. The CCGs are engaging with staff, GPs, residents and councils, and asking local people to share their views.