Croydon Health Services NHS Trust and NHS Croydon CCG have announced plans to work more closely, including the appointment of a single leader for both organisations.
The two NHS bodies published their proposed partnership plans yesterday following a public joint meeting.
The trust and the CCG appointed a joint chief nurse in April, and they also share a joint chief pharmacist.
In a joint announcement, the organisations said they want to ‘bring together more common functions’, which will help them remove duplication and free up resources for frontline services.
They will start to realise this ambition by appointing a single chief executive, supported by a joint board; setting a ‘single budget and financial plan including a combined target for 2019/20’; setting a single delivery plan; introducing shared functions and roles that are employed by both organisations.
The two NHS bodies said they will share financial risks and priorities and have agreed to one financial control total.
Benefits to patients and staff
Both patients and staff will benefit from this partnership, the CCG and the trust said, as patients will receive more joined-up care while staff will be given more opportunities for career progression.
The organisations said they have a ‘track record’ of successful working together. Since the launch of One Croydon Alliance – a commissioner and provider led programme to transform health and social care services for patients – in 2017, they’ve seen a 15% decrease in unplanned admissions among over 65s.
Croydon Health Services NHS Trust chairman Mike Bell said: ‘Bringing both organisations closer together ensures the best possible spend for the Croydon pound and free-up resources to support further quality improvements on the frontline.’
In their Strategic Case for greater alignment between Croydon CCG and Croydon Health Services NHS Trust, the organisations specified that this is ‘not a formal merger’, which means that both organisations will continue to be held responsible for their statutory duties.
However, the document added that ‘all key decisions relating to strategy, transformation and finance will be delegated to a board in common made up of executives, non-executive directors and lay members of both organisations’.
Croydon CCG is forecasting a surplus of £4.3m in 2019/20 which is why, according to CCG chair and local GP Dr Agnelo Fernandes it is ‘now a good time for us to agree this shared control total so that we can make sure we invest every pound in the best and most efficient way possible’.
He added: ‘Formalising our partnership between the trust and CCG will lay the foundations for the full integration of health and social care in the borough to make Croydon a great place for people of all ages to live and thrive.’