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20.04.18

Milton Keynes, Bedford and Luton CCGs plan to merge

NHS bosses have plans to merge the CCGs of Milton Keynes, Bedford and Luton in a move which would see the three areas’ health bodies heavily integrated.

The move would also mean a single accountable officer and financial officer would oversee the three bodies.

But Cllr Louise Jackson, portfolio holder for public health at Bedford Borough Council, told local press: “There’s been no engagement with us about this – and that’s simply a bad idea.

“If you’re going to make a huge change like this then you want the public and the elected members to be on board.”

Various services across Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes are already being integrated, including three hospitals under the ongoing STP.

A spokesman for Bedfordshire CCG denied that a decision had already been made. They said: “As an Integrated Care System, we are looking to work collaboratively to ensure we can continue to meet the growing needs of those who live in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes.

“With more people living longer with complex health needs and an increasing population, we need to take steps to work differently and reduce duplication – otherwise our combined budget will not be able to meet demand in the next three years.”

The spokesman added that the benefits of aligning the three CCGs include strengthening leadership to deliver economies of scale and reduce duplication, while pushing forward with work at a local level.

“No decisions have been made. This is a proposal that has been designed for discussion. We have chosen to have this discussion at a meeting in public, to ensure complete transparency with elected members and residents,” he noted.

Today’s news come just a couple of weeks after the three CCGs in Birmingham and Solihull merged to launch the brand-new NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG on 1 April, thus forming the biggest commissioning body in England.

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