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Go-ahead for one CCG for Kent and Medway – west Kent

User AvatarPosted by Daniel Harper at 21/10/2019 16:00:32

NHS West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group and the other seven clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in Kent and Medway are pleased to announce we have been given conditional approval to merge to form a single CCG.

The decision by NHS England and NHS Improvement means that, subject to the conditions being met, from 1 April 2020 there will be one clinical commissioning group for Kent and Medway. 

This is part of plans to change the way some aspects of health and care services are organised so they can do more to:

  • prevent ill-health
  • provide better, more joined-up care for patients
  • make best use of staff and funds to meet rising demand.

The single CCG will save time, money and effort, freeing up GP time to see patients, and staff and GP time to develop new integrated care partnerships and primary care networks, which are a vital part of improving care for local people. These changes are in line with the NHS Long Term Plan which was published earlier this year.

Dr Bob Bowes, chair of NHS West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group said: “We strongly believe having a single CCG will improve the quality of life and quality of care for our patients, and will help people to live their best life.

“It is an important step towards Kent and Medway becoming an integrated care system, with health and care organisations working together much more closely than in the past.

The approval to create the single CCG has some conditions attached to it which the CCGs are confident will be met. These are:

  • approval by NHS England and NHS Improvement of the new CCG’s Constitution
  • appointment to all statutory Governing Body roles (which include five independent members)
  • delivery of the financial recovery plan this year, and clear plans for how the financial position of Kent and Medway will continue to improve
  • review in December to determine whether legal financial directions can be lifted from the four east Kent CCGs
  • NHS England and NHS Improvement to be part of the recruitment panel for key positions including the new Accountable Officer.

You said, we did

We would like to thank everyone who took part in our surveys, shared their thoughts at meetings or otherwise contributed their views. Their feedback has helped us ensure the new CCG can deliver everything expected of it.

For example, one of the strong themes that emerged was the need to make sure that local people and GPs still have a voice in the single Kent and Medway CCG and to recognise that different localities across the county have different needs.

As a result, the CCGs made a commitment that:

  • the Governing Body will always be led by a GP majority, with one GP from each of the existing CCG areas for at least the first two years. After 2022, the Governing Body will review how GPs are elected to it, linked to geographic communities of GPs, to ensure fair representation of the GP membership from across our diverse area
  • there will be strong and effective clinical leadership and input throughout the whole organisation
  • there will be strong local patient and public representation from the CCG governing body through to individual primary care networks.

In addition, the Patient and Public Advisory Group, which includes representatives from across Kent and Medway, continues to be heavily involved in designing patient and public involvement for the new CCG.