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Clinical Commissioning Group Merger

August 28, 2020 12:00 PM

NHS LogoFrom 1 April 2021, Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Groups are planning to merge into one single NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

This will have an impact on how they operate as commissioners, (commissioning is the process by which health and care services are planned, purchased and monitored) and how they will work together in the future.

I, and the local Liberal Democrats are opposed to the creation of a single CCG covering Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes. What we, as elected representatives of Bedford Borough residents want to see, are high quality, responsive health services.

We are opposed to this merger as we have not been convinced that there is a medical rationale, that is, we don't believe it will deliver better health outcomes, and we anticipate the creation of larger CCG will result in a more remote organisation, less likely to listen to local views.

We are convinced that what Bedford Borough needs is more localised provision and oversight of health services, including primary care. That local organisation could nonetheless collaborate with other organisations. In our view, a Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes CCG would not provide this.

We have already seen a number of issues where the current CCG has been found to be too remote and non-responsive to the needs to Bedford Borough, for example when they wanted to close Putnoe walk-in centre. Another example of this came during the current Coronavirus pandemic, when the surgery at the Church Lane busy shopping centre was made a "red site" without the CCG having carried out an appropriate risk assessment and implementing mitigation measures and responding with indifference to requests from the Borough Council to undertake a risk assessment.

The Commissioners have set up at survey and are asking for views ahead of submitting a final application in September 2020 and you can have your say at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/OneBLMKpublic until Sunday 13 September.