Nine CCG mergers are expected to go ahead on 1 April 2021, NHS England has confirmed.
A spokesperson for NHS England told Healthcare Leader that it had ‘conditionally approved’ the nine mergers and no applications received for an April 2021 merger had been rejected.
The spokesperson added that if the mergers are ‘fully authorised and go ahead on 1 April, as currently expected’, it will reduce the total number of CCGs in England from 135 to 106.
According to NHS Digital, the nine new organisations will bring together 38 existing CCGs.
In its summary of the changes, NHS Digital said there are no 2021 CCG mergers occurring in the North West or South West NHS England regions.
In the East of England, there is due to be one merger, with Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes CCGs merging into a single organisation, NHS Digital said.
This is also the case in the North East and Yorkshire, with Greater Huddersfield and North Kirklees CCGs expected to merge into the NHS Kirklees CCG.
Meanwhile, two mergers are planned in the South East, bringing together Fareham and Gosport, Isle of Wight, North Hampshire, South Eastern Hampshire, Southampton and West Hampshire CCGs as the Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight CCG – while East Berkshire, North East Hampshire and Farnham and Surrey Heath are due to become NHS Frimley CCG.
Three mergers have been conditionally approved in the Midlands, which bring together nine CCGs into three new organisations.
Both a seven-way and an eight-way CCG merger are also due to take place in London. In April 2020, 18 London CCGs merged to create three organisations – North Central London CCG, South East London CCG and South West London CCG.
This comes as a Government white paper published today (11 February) has set out plans for wide-ranging reforms to how health and social care services are commissioned in England, including CCG functions being taken over by integrated care systems (ICSs).