NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in Norfolk and Waveney exploring possible merger - Blog 24

Friday, August 30, 2019 - 13:15
Dr Paul Williams, CCG Chair

Like a lot of you and the staff here at NHS West Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), I have just returned from my summer holidays and must admit this year it has been very busy during what is normally a “quiet” season. The reason for all this activity is the ongoing reorganisation of the Norfolk and Waveney CCGs.

As you may know from my previous articles there are five CCGs in Norfolk and Waveney and about a year ago they decided to form a single management team under one Accountable Officer. The appointment of that officer, Melanie Craig, and the new Chief Finance Officer, John Ingham, was completed at the end of April and was followed quickly with the creation of a new senior management team. This saw the creation of a new post here in West Norfolk of Locality Director. Jeanette Hucey has been appointed to this post initially on a six month contract with a view to a formal recruitment process this autumn. I would like to formally welcome Jeanette to King’s Lynn and wish her well in the post. The final phase of the reorganisation is to review and restructure the remaining staff across Norfolk and Waveney CCGs to support the new senior management team. That process is under way and should be complete by December.

The CCGs in Norfolk and Waveney are also currently exploring whether to merge into one larger CCG and are inviting people to have their say on this proposal. What does the proposed merger mean for West Norfolk? The main driver for those of us involved at the inception of West Norfolk CCG was to have a locally-focussed organisation that would look after the interests of our residents and ensure the best scrutiny and support was put in place for all health services in the area. I believe West Norfolk CCG has delivered that local focus and that we have ensured that services here are at least as good if not better than the rest of Norfolk. However, the cost of maintaining five CCGs is high; five CCGs all doing the same thing five times when it could be done once is inefficient. We can be better at improving things like our mental health services if we speak with one strong co-ordinated voice. Therefore, the move to merge will mean more money is available for clinical services that you desperately need while the commissioning voice will be louder and more insistent in our providers ear.

What we are determined about is that the local voice will not be lost in this move. Over the last year we have set up Local Delivery Groups in each of the CCG areas. Here in West Norfolk I have been chairing this group which is made up of all the providers and commissioners of health care in the area (including GPs, community nursing and mental health), The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, as well as the borough and county councils, social services, voluntary agencies, pharmacies, public health and children’s services. The purpose of this group is to help support and empower the new Primary Care Networks which are taking shape across Norfolk and Waveney and will see groups of GP practices working closely together with other community, mental health and social care staff to improve services for local people. This West Norfolk Local Delivery Group will ensure there remains a strong local focus on health care provision in the West.

The final decision on the proposed merger will happen soon and we need your feedback as soon as possible.

Please make your views known by completing an online survey at: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/NorfolkandWaveneyCCGProposal/

Alternatively, to request a hard copy of the survey please email

snccg.communications [at] nhs.net or write to

NHS Norwich CCG
Room 202
City Hall
St Peters Street