More Joined Up Healthcare At The Top Of The Agenda

Important plans to better integrate health and social care across the Borough of Cheshire East were at the top of the agenda at a meeting organised by Macclesfield MP, David Rutley, with the newly-appointed Clinical Chair for NHS Eastern Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group (ECCCG), Dr Andrew Wilson.

To help deliver this ambitious aim, proposals are being considered to create a single strategic commissioning organisation for Cheshire to make the planning and buying of healthcare as efficient and effective as possible.

Dr Wilson, who is also the Clinical Chair of NHS South Cheshire CCG as well as a partner in a Sandbach GP Practice, is working closely with Dr Jonathan Griffiths and Dr Chris Ritchieson, his counterparts at NHS Vale Royal CCG and NHS West Cheshire CCG respectively, to seek the views of the GP practices of all four areas.

A four-week period of public engagement also started on 28th May to seek the views of local people, partners and stakeholders on the proposals to create a single Cheshire CCG with effect from 1st April 2020.  The findings of this public engagement activity will be considered alongside the views of partners and stakeholders to help inform the process and subsequent vote of GP member practices. Should member practices vote in favour of a merger, the feedback from public engagement will be evidenced in any merger application to NHS England. Members of the public can find out more by visiting the website of their local clinical commissioning group and have their say by completing an online survey available between 28 May and 23 June 2019 at either www.easterncheshireccg.nhs.uk, www.southcheshireccg.nhs.uk, www.valeroyalccg.nhs.uk, or www.westcheshireccg.nhs.uk

David and Dr Wilson also reviewed the development of two Integrated Care Partnerships (ICPs) for Cheshire (one covering the East and the other the West of the county) that will bring together NHS organisations with our local authorities to join up health and social care services around the needs of local people and their communities. The ICPs are being developed in tandem with the proposed creation of a single Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group.

Dr Wilson said: “The proposed creation of a single Cheshire CCG will enable many processes, such as the awarding of contracts, to happen just once instead of four times. This will reduce back office costs and release more money for frontline care”.

Speaking after the meeting, David said, "I am grateful to Dr Wilson for meeting with me to review these important plans for our local health services. It is positive that health service leaders are looking to better integrate services, providing a more joined-up approach, with better outcomes for patients. It is positive to hear that the proposals for delivering these reforms are progressing well, and that time is being taken to ensure that the proposals are fully considered before being implemented. I look forward to keeping close to key developments with local health service leaders in the months ahead."