NHS North West London CCG merger: how you can respond to the “Case for Change” merger proposal

Update: this consultation has now closed. You can read Healthwatch Central West London’s response to the consultation here: Healthwatch Central West London response to NWLCCGs Case for Change – consultation response August 2019

 

Having your say on the “Case for Change” proposal in North West London.

NHS North West London CCG is asking local residents for feedback on its proposal to bring eight local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) together to create one single CCG for North West London.

This is an opportunity for anyone who uses health services in Brent, Central London, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow and West London to have your say on the changes to how local health and social care services are delivered in your area.

Your comments will be welcomed by the CCG until Saturday 24th August. You can email these comments to your CCG: nwlccgs@commissioningreform@nhs.net.

Healthwatch Central West London is working with its Local Committee members across the three boroughs to put its response together. The response will be published here on our website when the feedback period has ended.

Some of you might be aware of the changes taking place at the CCG level, but if not, please read below for an overview of the current proposal and its aims. You can also download and read the full proposal and a summary document.

 

What is the “Case for Change” proposal?

NHS North West London Clinical Commissioning Group (NHS NWLCCG) is proposing to move from its current structure, in which eight local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) work in partnership with one another, to one new, single CCG. This move is in line with the NHS Long Term Plan, which has proposed a reduction in the number of CCGs nationwide.

The single CCG would have decision making powers, but the delivery of different services would be the responsibility of eight different integrated care partnerships (or ICPs). These have similar responsibilities to the current form of CCG, but with some differences – you can learn more about these with this helpful summary presentation (click the link to view the video).

 

Why is this change being proposed?

NHS Long Term Plan aims to reduce the number of CCGs and strengthen connections between all local health and social care services, helping local people and providers to work together to find a more personalised approach to managing their care. Support for health and wellbeing is not limited to clinical health services (i.e. your GP or your local hospital), and all health and social support services should be able to work together to meet the health and care needs of local people.

By bringing the borough-level services together to create one regional structure, NHS NWLCCG suggests that a single CCG would be better placed to:

  • Commission local health services and contracts on a larger scale
  • Reduce inequalities in health service provisions between neighbouring boroughs
  • Become more cost efficient (with particular savings in administration or “back office” costs), enabling the CCG to save money that can be invested in other services
  • Share best practices and creating consistent standards across the eight boroughs

 

The Healthwatch position

Healthwatch has collected responses from local committee members throughout different stages of the merger proposal process, and you can read our previous position on the proposal here.

People have shared concerns with us about the transition from a borough-level structure to a regional one. Our recommendation is that, while there is potential for a CCG merger to improve efficiency, it is important that CCGs listen to what local people think about the health and care services they receive. Making sure people can have their say about significant changes to health and social care is critical to the success of Integrated Care Systems (ICS) and Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STP).

 

For more information on the Case for Change, you can find more details in the pages and publications linked to in this post: