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WIRRAL HEALTHCARE: The NHS going through a huge shake up

WIRRAL HEALTHCARE: The NHS going through a huge shake up

The move is going through parliament currently, but should be in place by April next year

The NHS is going through a huge shake up, with some fearing it could impact healthcare in Wirral.

Currently, the NHS is organised into Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), which plan and buy healthcare services for their local areas.

In Cheshire and Merseyside there are nine CCGs, one for each borough, but they are set to be scrapped in favour of just one ICS (Integrated Care System) which will commission NHS services across the entire region of more than 2.5m people.

The move is going through parliament currently, but should be in place by April next year.

It is hoped that consolidating the different commissioning groups into one will help to share ideas across the region, tackle health inequalities and improve the lives of the poorest fastest.

Speaking at today’s meeting of Wirral Council’s Health and Wellbeing Board, Cllr Phil Gilchrist said some were “very anxious” about what the changes could mean for the health service.

He said there was not quite enough detail in council reports on the ICS to give him enough assurance about it.

The Lib Dem group leader was concerned about what influence Wirral would have over decisions impacting on care in the borough given the creation of a new body covering the whole of Cheshire and Merseyside.

Graham Hodkinson, Wirral Council’s director of health and strategic commissioning, said many decisions on how Wirral’s health inequality will be tackled and how the borough’s health resources will be used will still be made locally under the new structure.

Simon Banks, chief officer of Wirral CCG, said the ICS will face challenges such as transferring staff into the “new world” of the NHS under the new system, as well as living within its means.

 

Words: George Morgan, Local Democracy Reporter


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