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Coordinating five CSUs to support national CCG mergers programme

We led a collaboration between the five commissioning support units in England to provide a range of programme management, project management and organisational change support, assisting the national programme of clinical commissioning group mergers. 

Background
NHS England and Improvement (NHSEI) commissioned the five commissioning support units (CSUs) in England to provide support to the national programme of merging clinical commissioning groups (CCGs). From August 2019 to March 2021, the Midlands and Lancashire CSU (MLCSU) has been leading the programme, coordinating a range of support through CSU collaboration. Workstreams have covered all aspects of organisational change, project management optimisation and support with engagement and document submission. This has resulted in several successful mergers including integration of back office functions to bring efficiencies of scale.

Action
The national programme was designed to support merging CCGs across the country, by bringing in additional capacity and expertise to complete specific tasks.

MLCSU created a programme management structure in response to NHSEI’s request for support. We:

  • Worked collaboratively with partner CSUs, to source and deliver a range of support activities, as agreed by the head of the mergers programme within NHSEI
  • Produced monthly progress reports and met regularly to update programme leadership
  • Provided a wide range of assistance across the country, with requests coming in from NHSEI regional leads to help them in managing mergers in their area or to provide support directly to merging CCGs
  • Managed the contracting and payments between partner CSUs, along with budget monitoring of NHSEI funding.

Impact

We ensured CCGs had the support they needed in the merging process:

  • Project Coordinator for NHSEI Midlands supporting the Shropshire / Telford and Wrekin CCG Merger
  • Programme management for NHSEI South East Mergers Team
  • Backfill of several roles within the NHSEI South West Mergers Team
  • Finance Programme Manager to NHSEI Finance Team Leeds
  • HR and development support for mergers during 2021/22
  • Engagement support and resilience training for Shropshire / Telford and Wrekin CCGs
  • Project management support for merger implementation in Shropshire/ Telford and Wrekin
  • Programme management to Warrington, Halton and St Helens CCGs
  • Project management for Lancashire and South Cumbria CCGs
  • Communications and engagement support to Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire CCGs
  • Project support in Norfolk and Waveney CCGs.

“You always maintained a calm, cheerful and constructive outlook, even when circumstances were challenging – and worked hard to find solutions.  I have really appreciated all your support and the service provided.  Thank you so much.”

Programme Management