Brent Clinical Commissioning Group merger earmarked for April 2021

Brent CCG to merge with seven others. Picture: NWL CCG

Brent CCG to merge with seven others. Picture: NWL CCG - Credit: Archant

The proposed merger of eight clinical commissioning groups (CCG), including Brent and Westminster, into one core group is to take effect in April 2021.

A consultation has begun with local councils, all eight CCGs and with GPs and if propsals are approved the North West London CCG will send an application to NHS England and Improvement at the end of September.

The group which also includes Ealing, Harrow, Hammersmith and Fulham, Hillingdon, Hounslow, and Kensington and Chelsea, was initially set to join up in April this year.

The collaboration consulted with the public last year and the CCGs will be discussing further with local people and organisations over the next six weeks.

Jo Ohlson, accountable officer for the North West London CCGs said: “All eight CCG governing bodies agreed last year that this was the right direction of travel.

“Going forward we will retain a focus on managing key relationships locally, working closely with our GPs, hospitals, local councils, Healthwatch and voluntary organisations.”

“Each borough will continue to have its own team to ensure that the right services are provided for local needs. We have learned a great deal from the Covid-19 pandemic, notably about how we function better as one organisation as joint working across all parts of the NHS, in partnership with social care, has been critical to our response.”

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She added: “The proposed merger aligns to the NHS Long Term Plan, to achieve our vision, we need to have one organisation buying and commissioning services for all in North West London – this means moving to a single CCG.”

Cllr Ketan Sheth, chair of Brent Council’s community and wellbeing committee said the proposal has been under discussion for “some time so it should not be a surprise to anyone”.

He added: “We need to ensure that a merged CCG does not lead to the loss of a local voice in planning NHS services and that Brent councillors and residents are still able to influence decisions made by the single CCG.

“There are pros and cons to this but we need to fully understand what it means for Brent residents and GPs.

“I will be raising these questions with the NHS.”