Four Derbyshire CCGs consider merger to deal with £95m deficit

CCGs in Derbyshire are to discuss plans on how they can source £51m of savings.

After a three-week public consultation period, which ended on Tuesday, Derbyshire’s four CCGs will meet on Friday to discuss whether they should merge organisations or retain their current separate working arrangements.

The four CCGs — Erewash, North Derbyshire, South Derbyshire and Hardwick — already work closely together, having joint meetings to help speed up and unify decision-making processes. They have also appointed a single chief executive, Chris Clayton, as the first step towards joint management.

Together the CCGs have a budget of £1.5bn, 396 staff, 117 GP practices and have over a million patients.

However, they have a combined £95m budget shortfall and have been ordered by NHS bosses to make significant savings by the next financial year.

All four CCGs think a merge is “the best way” to deliver future commissioning across the Derbyshire STP area, the consultation document noted: “As a merged organisation we can benefit from efficiencies and the ability to move at pace to further enhance services that are consistent, fair and high-quality whilst also reducing health inequalities.

“This option offers the best opportunity to address the financial deficit position in Derbyshire and provides a single legal entity for providers and local authorities to engage with.”

In a statement to Derbyshire Live, the Derbyshire CCGs said demand on health and care services has “continued to rise significantly in recent years,” noting that the cost of services bought this year – together with predicted growth and demand on services – has resulted in a funding gap of £95m.

The groups revealed that a £51m savings plan is in place, meaning there will be a deficit of £44m at the end of the financial year— but NHS England has said they will not force the groups to pay off the remaining deficit if the planned savings are achieved.

“Whilst we are restructuring our organisation to ensure that we are in the best place to respond to our financial challenge, we do not envisage the need for any large-scale redundancies,” the CCGs said.

“Our absolute focus is on achieving our savings plan whilst introducing new models of care and approaches that will improve the experience of our patients and doing our best to avoid – and mitigate against – the potential decommissioning of services.”

Although the CCGs are meeting on Friday, the final decision won’t be announced publicly until October this year.

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Image credit: shironosov


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