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Your spotlight on local services

Collaborative Working Arrangements and Appointment of a Single Accountable Officer Across Local CCGs


The five CCGs in Durham and Tees Valley – NHS Darlington CCG, NHS Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield CCG, NHS Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees CCG, NHS North Durham CCG and NHS South Tees CCG – have been moving towards working more collaboratively since early 2018.

The key aims of which include:

  •          Strengthening commissioning capacity and leadership by combining existing CCG skills and resources to enable the delivery of ambitious transformational programmes
  •          Responding to the Five Year Forward View which describes a number of organisational models where financial and clinical risks are shared across providers
  •          Meeting the agenda for change - NHS England has communicated a clear policy position for all CCGs to consider closer partnership working.

The CCGs believe that combining existing CCG skills and resources will strengthen our commissioning capacity and capability to deliver our ambitious transformational programme and support shared responsibility; will support delivery of the Strategic Transformation Partnership (STP) plan and emerging Integrated Care Partnership working as key system leaders within a complex health and care system, with greater potential for influence locally, regionally and nationally; and will free up capacity to focus on the delivery of placed based work in our local communities.

Single Accountable Officer

In July the Governing Bodies of the five CCGs approved a recommendation to have a joint leadership and management team with a single Accountable Officer for all five CCGs. This is consistent with national and local aspirations to increase partnership working between healthcare organisations and a number of CCGs around the country have already moved to this way of working.

Further to this decision an appointment process has been undertaken and Dr Neil O’Brien (currently Chief Clinical Officer for North Durham CCG) was appointed Accountable Officer Designate for Darlington, Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield, Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees, North Durham and South Tees CCGs on 6th September 2018. In line with national legislation and policy, the Chief Executive of NHS England is required to confirm this appointment and they expect this to happen within the next 3 weeks.

Current Chief Officer arrangements will remain in place until that time.

Next Steps

The model for the joint leadership and management team that will support the single Accountable Officer will be developed over the next several weeks and they expect the transition to this model will be complete by April 2019. Neil’s role will continue to be supported by a number of very senior executives and clinicians currently working within local systems.

Nicola Bailey the current Chief Operating Officer working with Neil will remain in that role working across a broader geographical area.

Dr Stewart Findlay will continue to work within the Southern Collaborative aligned to County Durham to continue to lead the NHS implementation of the Durham Plan and primary care.

As Ali Wilson retires, Dr Andrea Jones who has been working alongside Ali for the last year, will continue in a senior clinical leadership role and support Neil in the Darlington and Hartlepool and Stockton-on –Tees area during the transition.

Amanda Hume of South Tees CCG has been appointed to an Executive Lead role for System Transformation and Strategic Commissioning within the newly forming Integrated Care System.

The CCGs recognise that the local dynamic is very important and they remain rooted in our local populations, with commissioning based upon their needs. The CCG’s will remain as separate statutory organisations and will retain outward-facing place-based teams and local decision making.

Current local working arrangements and relationships will continue, including shared arrangements and joint posts with local authorities where agreed.

Regular communication will continue over the coming months as they transition to the new arrangements.


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