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Decision to create one clinical commissioning group for Bradford district and Craven

Family doctors from across Bradford district and Craven have today agreed to form one single NHS clinical commissioning group (CCG) for the area.

The doctors, who represent the 75 GP practices across the area, voted to replace the three existing CCGs – NHS Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven CCG;  NHS Bradford City CCG; and NHS Bradford Districts CCG – on 1 April 2020.

The plan to create one CCG is based on a national requirement of all CCGs to reduce their administration costs by 20% by 31 March 2020.  The savings will be re-invested in patient care.

In Bradford district and Craven, this equates to a £2.5m fall in administration costs from 1 April 2020.  Reducing the number of CCGs will contribute approximately £1million of the planned savings.  To reduce duplication further, the CCGs are working closely with health and care partners where it makes sense to do so, and are reviewing all staff vacancies.

During May and June, the CCGs engaged with staff, the public, partners and other stakeholders on the proposals, and feedback from this was considered prior to making the decision.

Overall, people who responded were generally supportive of the creation of one CCG provided that the CCG continued to engage with local people about services.  There was some concern about funding in inner city areas, and about greater access to services in rural parts of the area such as Craven.  These, and other views, were taken into account by doctors when they made the decision to create one CCG.

To mitigate these concerns, the CCGs have committed to building on the 14 community partnerships established as part of the overall Bradford district and Craven system to ensure that this is the basis of engaging with local people.  CCG funding will be reported at community partnership level to ensure a clear line of sight on resources, and the operating model for them will ensure a good local focus.

Dr James Thomas, clinical chair of Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven CCG, said:  “Creating one CCG will not affect the delivery of frontline patient services.  However, during engagement we heard that some people were concerned about our ability to continue to make decisions about services, and retain funding for them, at a very local level.

“We want services to be increasingly more relevant to the needs of the communities we serve and have strong community partnerships in place to achieve this.  These involve local people as well as health, care and wider support services and will continue to ensure localism and help to drive accountability within the new CCG.”

Dr Akram Khan, clinical chair of Bradford City CCG, said:  “Becoming one CCG in Bradford district and Craven will improve efficiency and effectiveness, at the same time reducing bureaucracy and helping to achieve around 40% of the savings needed.  This comes mainly from reducing the number of people who hold statutory positions, along with a fall in the costs associated with running three CCGs.”

Dr Andy Withers, clinical chair of Bradford Districts CCG said:  “One CCG for Bradford district and Craven will give us a stronger voice in the new strategic partnerships between local statutory and other organisations, and in the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership.  It will provide a fresh opportunity to re-think and evolve the way that we commission services and to invest time, effort and energy into working with our partners.”

The CCGs’ governing bodies – which meet as committees-in-common - will discuss the plans next week, prior to a formal application being made to NHS England.

Subject to approval by NHS England, it is anticipated that a new CCG for Bradford district and Craven will be fully operational on 1 April 2020.

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