Three groups responsible for the planning, buying and monitoring of health services in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire could become one single organisation as soon as April 2020.
As one CCG, health leaders say they can reduce variation in care and standardise best practice so everyone can access high-quality treatment and services, regardless of where they live.
Working as one organisation will also help the CCG meet financial challenges by, for example, offering greater buying power, eliminating the duplication of administrative support functions and streamlining governance processes.
The savings made can then be invested in frontline services or transformational projects.
The move is in line with similar mergers across the NHS and follows national guidelines for health and care services to work more closely together and move towards becoming Integrated Care Systems to give everyone the best start in life, world-class care for major health problems and help to age well.
Dr Ian Orpen, Chair of the BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Board, said: “CCGs up and down the country have either already merged or are beginning plans to merge to help better meet the needs of their local populations.
“We believe that now is the right time for our three CCGs to come together to form a leaner, more strategic, single organisation to serve local people.
“The three CCGs have a history of working together to deliver high-quality care, and in the past year, we have increased our partnership working.
“For example, we have a single Chief Executive and executive management structure, which has led to more consistent leadership and a clearer direction to staff.
“I believe that as a single CCG, we will be in a stronger position to improve outcomes for patients, whilst still retaining our local voice.”
At their recent public meetings, the Governing Bodies of BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) approved plans to apply to NHS England to create one single organisation.
Prior to submitting the application, the CCGs will engage with the public, staff, providers and other key stakeholders, and the GP membership of each CCG will then vote on a final decision to apply for a merger.
The three CCGs will then submit an application to NHS England and, if approved, the three groups will become a single CCG on 1st April 2020.