The three clinical commissioning groups located in Manchester have committed to a formal merger by the end of the financial year.
This news was broken by an independent options appraisal, which indicated that North, South and Central Manchester CCGs will form a single entity by April 2017.
In addition to the merger, the three organisations will also seek to formally establish a single commissioning function for health and social care with Manchester City Council.
Consultancy firm Deloitte has outlined some of the details in a newly published report.
This document suggests that commissioning functions may transfer fully to the council of Manchester in the coming years.
But a decision on this proposition will be dependent on the legislation, and indeed the “maturity of the new arrangements.”
Manchester was previously served by a single primary care trust prior to the creation of CCGs in 2013 under the Health and Social Care Act.
The report will be published within the board papers of the central Manchester clinical commissioning group in September, and the text outlines the new arrangement.
“This single commissioning function will comprise one statutory CCG for Manchester, which holds a partnership agreement with Manchester City Council. It will have one accountable officer and a single executive team including senior city council officers and clinicians. After discussion and debate about the merits and risks of a phased approach, CCG and Manchester City Council leaders have committed to working towards a timeframe of April 2017 to implement this structure and new arrangements.”
Progression of the plans is subject to formal approval by the boards of the three CCGs.
It is notable that each of the clinical commissioning groups and local council have collaborated on an increasingly close basis since the Greater Manchester devolution deal was signed last year.
This has included forming a joint commissioning board and appointing a joint director to work across the organisations.
In addition to the CCG merger, two prominent hospital trusts in Manchester will also merge by April next year, and a single organisation to deliver hospital care in the city will also be created.
The Deloitte document also sets out potential future options such as the formation of “chains” with other local commissioners such as Trafford “to ensure that outcomes are defined consistently”.
Ian Williamson, chief officer of Central Manchester CCG and chair of the city’s joint commissioning executive, made a statement on the subject, in which he promoted the wisdom of this particular decision.
“Over the last few months, an independent review has been carried out on the scope and options for more formal integrated arrangements. The recommendations are being considered by the CCGs’ boards and Manchester City Council and will be presented to Manchester’s Health and Wellbeing Board in November. This process reinforces our commitment to working together for the benefit of the people of this city, so that we can develop a system that is responsive to local need, accountable to local people, and keeps clinical decision-making at the heart of it.”