CCG merger plan scrapped after county’s GPs voice strong opposition

GPs have voted overwhelmingly against controversial proposals to merge Staffordshire’s six clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).
The CCGs are responsible for buying and managing NHS services .
Plans were tabled to merge the Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire CCGs with their four counterparts in the south the county.
But the North Staffs Local Medical Committee advised its members to vote against the proposal.
Doctors in five of the six areas are opposed to a single strategic commissioning group, which would serving the 1.1 million residents in Staffordshire. And across the county 107 practices voted against and 24 for.
Only GPs in the Stafford area supported the proposed merger, which it is claimed would simplify decision-making and efficiency.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Healthwatch Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire MPs have also voiced their oppostion to the merger plans, citing the north’s different health needs compared to the south of the county.