The Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) CCGs have a successful track record of working closely together to commission area-wide health services on behalf of local people. This year we have taken steps to further strengthen and formalise this relationship with the appointment of a single chief executive and executive team.
In light of our progress so far, and the potential benefits of even closer integration, we now feel that the next logical step would be a formal merger of our three organisations. We will be seeking approval from our membership for this important constitutional change during September.
The proposal was made following careful consideration of the potential risks and benefits that it would bring for local patients, our partners and the wider health and care system across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. The new merged organisation will be built on a strong locality infrastructure. This would ensure we can stay close to local people and GPs, and continue to work in partnership with each of the Local Authorities, whilst building on the benefits we’ve already got from working together.
These include eliminating the administrative burden that comes from running three statutory organisations. Operating a single administrative and governance function would enable us to focus more of our people and resources on delivering improved services and better patient experience.
A merger would also help to progress our work to create a stronger, clearer and more consistent commissioning ‘voice’ for our area, built on the strong foundations of locality-based, GP-led commissioning, and better able to drive forward the changes needed to deliver the resilient and sustainable NHS services that local people need.
We are currently discussing the merger proposal with our partners and if we secure a positive vote from Member Practices in September, we will work with patients and the public to explain the changes and discuss how they will benefit local health services.