HEALTH commissioners in Wiltshire, Swindon and BaNES could merge to become one single clinical commissioning group as soon as April 2020.

The combined CCGs would control a £1.1bn budget for nearly one million people living in Wiltshire, Bath and North East Somerset.

Leaders say working as one group would give them greater buying power and reduce post code lotteries over care services.

However it could also lead to duplicate administrative jobs being cut with fewer workers needed. Cash saved by eliminating jobs will be invested into frontline services, commissioners said today.

Dr Ian Orpen, chairman 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.

“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.”

The three CCGs will now submit an application to NHS England.

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