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Thursday 27 October 2016
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CCGs propose new boundaries to include Morecambe Bay area

Plans for Morecambe Bay to join Lancashire North CCG from Cumbria CCG have been proposed

Two clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are considering redrawing their boundaries so that GP practices in the Morecambe Bay area are in the same CCG.

NHS Cumbria CCG and NHS Lancashire North CCG have proposed that Lancashire North extend its boarders to include practices in Furness and South Lakes in south Cumbria.

The practices in Allerdale, Carlisle, Copeland and Eden would remain in Cumbria CCG.

In a patient leaflet on the North Lancashire CCG website, the CCG says the move will help commissioners “make better use of scarce resources” and help “remove the duplication in some of our existing arrangements”.

Andrew Bennett, chief officer of Lancashire North CCG, said: “The developing vanguard programme Better Care Together around Morecambe Bay has refocused our commissioning activity and the way NHS organisations around the Bay work together. It makes sense for patients and staff that we step up our work in this area so we are well prepared for the future.”

Cumbria CCG added in a statement that the move would help streamline their services, which are otherwise divided by NHS England.

The CCG is currently split by the Sustainability and Transformation Plan footprints, which have north and south Cumbria in different areas.

Cumbria is also divided by Health Education England regional jurisdictions, which has some parts of the area in the North East and others in the North West.

Dr Hugh Reeve, interim chief clinical officer of Cumbria CCG, said: “Increasingly Cumbria is seen as being part of two distinct healthcare systems. Because of this we are exploring new ways of working across Cumbria and North Lancashire to support the Success Regime in the north and the Better Care Together programme in the Morecambe Bay area.”

Both organisations have written to their GP practices, staff, other commissioners including local authorities and NHS England to ask their views on the move.

If the boarder alterations are approved by NHS England the changes could take effect from 1 April 2017.