'Minimal Redundancies' Due To Major Health Services Merger

Merton's Clinical Commissioning Group to be combined with five others

Sarah Blow

Assurances have been given that redundancies will be minimal when six CCGs (Clinical Commissioning Groups) are merged.

Merton CCG is to be combined with Croydon, Kingston, Richmond, Wandsworth, Sutton and could become one South West London group as soon as August 2020.

CCGs are NHS bodies responsible for the planning and commissioning of health care services for their local area.

Sarah Blow (pictured above), accountable Officer for SW London Alliance of CCG gave an update to the Merton CCG governing body meeting earlier this month (3 July).

She said: “There are a number of things going on both nationally and locally that mean we have to change.

“We have a strong case and this is evolution not revolution, we already work very closely across South West London.”

She said that the new group would see a reduction in costs with less borough meetings and some shared services.

But Ms Blow added: “We have committed to our staff to minimise redundancies.”

And she said she thinks the merger will mean more opportunity for staff progression than being in smaller CCGs.

“We know this is a decision every area of London will have to make but we are at the forefront so we are able to influence the thinking on this rather than being told this is what you’re going to do,” said Ms Blow.

Nationally, the NHS has plans for the whole of England to be covered by integrated care systems (ICS). Part of this is having just one CCG for an area.

GP Dr Marek Jarzembowski said that some may be concerned that this model could open the NHS up to privatisation.

But Ms Blow said: “I think working more collaboratively with our providers means we can be more NHS focused so I don’t agree with that perception.”

Tara O'Connor - Local Democracy Reporter

July 9, 2019