There were two clinical commissioning groups – one overseeing services in Shropshire and the other in Telford & Wrekin – but from today the new group, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin CCG, will be in charge of the planning, buying and monitoring of local health services.
Finance director Claire Skidmore will lead the organisation as interim accountable officer for the time-being, with recruitment ongoing to find someone to permanently fill the role.
The 51 general practices across the county have also elected clinical representatives who sit on the CCG governing body, which will be chaired by Dr John Pepper.
Dr Pepper said: “I am proud to chair our new CCG.
"The two governing bodies for Shropshire CCG and Telford and Wrekin CCG have been working closely together since August, so we are in a good position to move forward as a single organisation.
"Our priority is to enhance our provision of healthcare services, ensuring they are high quality, safe and value for money.
“I am looking forward to working with our new governing body, our staff, practice members and our partners, to build on the progress we have already made.
"As our organisation continues to evolve, we will continue to engage with local people, as we strive to meet local needs in the most effective and efficient way possible.”
He said the key issues moving forward will be in restoring healthcare services that were postponed due to the pandemic and addressing waiting list backlogs.
Ms Skidmore added: “I am pleased to have this opportunity to lead the newly formed commissioning organisation in the first stages of its growth.
"We will be focusing on our commissioning strategy, working to reduce health inequalities whilst taking account of the diverse needs in our local communities and to commission quality services whilst driving our financial recovery.”
Watch Dr John Pepper introducing the new CCG:
The CCG will continue to work with a wide range of partners, including health and social care providers, local authorities and voluntary and community organisations.
It will also work closely with patient groups and organisations, including Healthwatch, which gathers and shares the experiences of patients who have used the services the CCG commission.
A new assuring involvement committee is also being created for the CCG, including volunteers from local communities and two lay members for patient and
public involvement, who will help to ensure the diverse needs of communities are considered.
There is still time to get involved and anyone interested can find out more at bit.ly/GetInvolvedNHS_STW
The deadline for applying to volunteer has been extended to April 14.
To find out more about the CCG visit www.shropshiretelfordandwrekinccg.nhs.uk
The plans to form a single CCG were approved last year by NHS bosses, with an expectation that it will get rid of 'duplication and inconsistency'.