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A proposal to merge the eight Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in North West London has been rejected, after a draft constitution for a single CCG did not receive enough backing from GP practice members.

In August 2020, the eight CCGs – Brent, Central London, Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow, and West London – launched a formal consultation with the eight local authorities in North West London about its plans to merge into one CCG.

It was thought that a single CCG would allow streamlined commissioning for residents across North West London as well as provide more joined-up care for patients through working more closely with GPs, hospitals, local councils, Healthwatch and voluntary organisations.

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All GP practice members across the eight CCGs were invited to vote for or against the decision to merge.

The member practices of seven CCGs voted in favour of the proposal to merge. However, the one exception was West London CCG, where a majority voted against the proposal.

GP practice members were also asked to vote on the proposed draft constitution for the single CCG. Practices in three of the CCGs voted in favour, but there were not enough votes in favour for the constitution to be supported in Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, Hounslow and West London CCGs.

In an official statement about the decision to merge, the eight CCGs’ governing bodies said: “While the support for the merger is positive result overall, the West London CCG vote is obviously not what we had hoped for.

“We will now work closely with West London CCG members over the coming weeks to try to understand and address their reservations.

“Our current hope is that we can address any concerns, discuss with West London CCG governing body members and other CCGs and approach the membership again to reconsider its position.”

As well as asking the GP practice members for their decisions, the CCGs also shared their merger proposal with local Healthwatch organisations, NHS provider trusts, patient groups and members of the public for comment.

The eight CCG governing bodies will now consider all the feedback it received in September.

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