The Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, Councillor Kay Cutts MBE, has welcomed the announcement that several Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) which cover Nottinghamshire and Nottingham are set to merge in a bid to save money and improve integration of healthcare services.
However, Councillor Cutts also criticised the fact that one CCG – Bassetlaw CCG – would not be included in the merger, despite Bassetlaw district being a part of the Nottinghamshire County area.
The merger involves six CCGs: Mansfield & Ashfield, Newark & Sherwood, Nottingham City, Nottingham North & East, Nottingham West, and Rushcliffe. They will now submit their collective merger plan to NHS England and, if approved, this would become operational on 1st April 2020.
Speaking about the merger plans, Councillor Kay Cutts said:
“This makes perfect sense. Bringing these health services together under one CCG body will improve co-ordination and greatly increase efficiency, making public money stretch further.
“As a social care and public health provider, Nottinghamshire County Council has close links with all of these CCGs. Given the strong connection between the health and social care services our residents receive, our officers will find it much easier to work and communicate with one large CCG than six smaller ones. This is great news for people who need a combination of health and social care services.
“Now that six NHS bodies in Nottinghamshire are set to merge to provide a better value service, it serves to illustrate why local government should do the same. Creating a single unitary authority for Nottinghamshire, rather than the current structure of seven district councils and a county council, would save at least £27 million per year for the taxpayer and enable us to simplify, even further, the relationship between local government and health services.”
Councillor Cutts expressed disappointment that the Bassetlaw CCG was not part of the proposed merger:
“The only negative element of this announcement is that Bassetlaw CCG is not also included. Bassetlaw is part of Nottinghamshire and many of its residents look towards towns such as Retford and Tuxford for their health services, so it is completely incongruous that they are not included in this plan. We will be making representations to the NHS and the Government asking for this to be reviewed.”