Today the four Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in the Black Country and West Birmingham have merged to become a single organisation.

NHS Black Country and West Birmingham CCG replaces NHS Dudley CCG, NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG, NHS Walsall CCG and NHS Wolverhampton CCG.

The merger follows a period of engagement last year with the GP Members, staff, providers, public and other key stakeholders. It has been supported (by a 98% turnout vote - 90% of those who voted agreed with the proposal to merge) by GP practices in Dudley, Sandwell and West Birmingham, Walsall and Wolverhampton, as well as each of the former CCGs’ Governing Bodies.

Paul Maubach, Chief Executive Officer of NHS Black Country and West Birmingham CCG, said: “Having already set up a single executive team over a year ago and worked successfully together across the four CCGs on our combined Covid-19 response, this merger was the next logical step.

“Working as a single CCG allows us to create capacity within our system to develop our role as strategic commissioner, coordinating efforts to tackle issues that impact on the health of local people and take action to improve health outcomes.

“We will not however lose sight of the different needs of our local communities and we will continue to work with local organisations across our five places of Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall, West Birmingham and Wolverhampton, so that people’s needs, views and experiences remain at the heart of our decision making.”

The merger does not affect any health or care services provided by NHS organisations or local councils across the area, but does reduce the duplication of roles and governance that previously existed behind the scenes within the four organisations. Local relationships and clinical leadership are central components to the way in which the CCG will work and this will be retained through place based teams in Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall, West Birmingham and Wolverhampton.

It is also consistent with the expectation set out in the NHS Long Term Plan that there should be more streamlined commissioning arrangements in place across the Black Country and West Birmingham footprint.