NHS chief confirms 'significant' CCG cuts and redundancies under long-term plan

There will be 'significantly fewer' CCGs under reforms set out in the long-term plan, NHS chief executive Simon Stevens has confirmed - resulting in a 'natural churn' of redundancies.

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens (Photo: Alex Deverill)
NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens (Photo: Alex Deverill)

His comments came in an evidence session with MPs after the NHS long-term plan, published on Monday, suggested major organisational reform was on the way.

The long-term plan revealed that integrated care systems (ICSs) would be rolled out across England by April 2021, 'growing out of the current network of sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs)'. There are just 44 STPs, and the long-term plan said there would be typically 'a single CCG for each ICS area', with CCGs set to become 'leaner, more strategic organisations'.

In a House of Commions public accounts committee (PAC) meeting on Wednesday, committee member Gareth Snell MP asked Mr Stevens whether the plans meant there would be ‘significantly fewer’ CCGs in England - citing the figure of ‘around 44' to match the number of STPs.

Mr Stevens confirmed: ‘In all likelihood, yes.’ However, he insisted: ‘We haven’t declared a number of that nature. We don’t think it would be the right thing to pull a number out of the air like that.’

Redundancies

When questioned by Mr Snell over the ‘level of expected redundancies through job losses or mergers’ as a result of the reduction in CCG numbers, Mr Stevens confirmed there would be a ‘natural churn’ following a ‘phased cost takeout’.

But Mr Stevens added that 'there are some vacancies in some organisations anyway so that offsets the redundancy numbers'.

According to the long-term plan, CCGs will ‘become leaner, more strategic organisations that support providers to partner with local government and other community organisations on population health, service redesign and long-term plan implementation’.

Also speaking at the PAC meeting, DHSC permanent secretary Chris Wormald said: ‘One of the challenges with creating NHS reform over the decades has been creating very firm plans with very firm numbers that are then fixed in stone until somebody reforms them again.

'Having a system where there is a much more continual state of evolution… certainly seems to me like a much better type of reform for a sector of this size and complexity than for Simon to sit there and say the exact number of CCGs is ‘X’… I would much rather have a system that was in a much more continuous slow state of evolution.’

The long-term plan’s five-year funding allocations for CCGs in all areas of England are expected later today.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

160,000 patient records 'wrongly archived' in latest Capita blunder

160,000 patient records 'wrongly archived' in latest Capita blunder

Patient records for 160,000 people were archived by mistake rather than being sent...

Consultation skills: Frequent attenders

Consultation skills: Frequent attenders

Dr Pipin Singh offers advice on how to approach consultations with patients who frequently...

Pension taxes force one in three GPs to cut back work or refuse shifts

Pension taxes force one in three GPs to cut back work or refuse shifts

One in three GPs have reduced work or refused shifts to avoid pension taxes that...

Half of GP partners say primary care networks will increase workload

Half of GP partners say primary care networks will increase workload

Half of GP partners think primary care networks (PCNs) will increase workload for...

GPC sessional chair among GPs taking lead roles in primary care networks

GPC sessional chair among GPs taking lead roles in primary care networks

GPC sessional subcommittee chair Dr Zoe Norris is among GPs set to become clinical...

Most locum and salaried GPs ignored as primary care networks form, poll reveals

Most locum and salaried GPs ignored as primary care networks form, poll reveals

Just one in 20 locum GPs are involved in setting up primary care networks (PCNs)...