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NHS Central Sussex and East Surrey Commissioning Alliance is a joint way of working across the five CCGs of central Sussex and East Surrey (Brighton and Hove, Crawley, East Surrey, High Weald Lewes Havens, Horsham and Mid Sussex) that allows us to work closer together to commission services more efficiently and effectively for our local populations.
The Alliance is organised in two ‘places’ – the north place covers the areas of Crawley CCG, East Surrey CCG Horsham and Mid Sussex CCG, and the south place covers the areas of Brighton and Hove CCG and High Weald Lewes Havens CCG.
The work we do and the way we plan future services is part of wider plans to improve health and social care for the whole of Sussex and East Surrey.
Why we need an Alliance of CCGs
Since CCGs were formed in 2013, demand on health and social care services has grown significantly and funding has not been able to keep pace with this growth. People are now living longer, and with increasingly complex needs, and health inequalities are increasing. It is evident that individual CCGs cannot address these challenges alone.
Our local CCGs have increasingly worked together over recent years in order to be more effective and to make best use of local resources.
However, this has been on an ad hoc basis and it was recognised that there needs to be more formal processes and governance in place to ensure we maximize the use of resources and meet the needs of our populations more effectively. By working at a larger scale we will be able to streamline our internal processes, avoid duplication and have consistency of quality in services across a larger area for our patients.
What the Alliance means for CCGs
The Alliance is simply a new way of working across the CCGs and is not a formal merger of the organisations. CCGs are statutory bodies, which means it would need a change of law by the Government for them to cease to exist.
The five individual CCG Governing Bodies remain accountable for healthcare commissioning to meet the needs of our local populations and our local clinical leads ensure clinical focus remains at the forefront of our work in planning, buying and monitor health and care services for our communities, working in partnership with local patients and the public.
There is a single executive team for the Alliance which includes a single Accountable Officer for all five CCGs, a North Managing Director and a South Managing Director.
The Governing Bodies of the five CCGs meet quarterly at the Govering Body In Common meeting.
Our focus on improving local care
The Alliance represents a way of commissioning services more effectively and efficiently across a larger area. However, there will remain a strong focus to local services to ensure they meet the care needs of people living across the different villages, towns and cities in central Sussex. Our CCGs are working in partnership with local authorities, partners and providers to transform and improve health and social care for their local populations.
This involves developing plans that look at different ways in which patients can access care closer to home, how they can get the right care in the right place quicker and prevent people having to go to go to hospital so often for treatment.
Our transformation plans aim to achieve this by:
- Supporting people to live well, age well and stay healthy
- Helping local people use the right medicines when they need to
- Making sure people do not always have to go to A&E when they need to be seen urgently
- Making sure that, when people have been referred for further care or treatment by a GP, they see the right specialist in the right place at the earliest opportunity
- Making mental health support is available quicker and wherever anyone needs it
- Working across organisations as one team to make sure our services are focused on keeping people in their own home and, if they are in hospital, they get the support needed when they go home
- Making it easier to see a GP when needed and easier to use other non-hospital services
- Ensuring children and young people have the best possible start in life so they grow up happy, healthy and safe, with the best chance of fulfilling their potential
Addressing our challenges
The NHS is facing a number of challenges, both nationally and locally, as set out above. It is clear that the best way to address these across central Sussex and east Surrey is for us all to work closer together.
Two CCGs within the Alliance - Crawley CCG and Horsham and Mid Sussex CCG – were recently given ‘legal directions’ by NHS England and both High Weald Lewes Havens CCG and Brighton and Hove CCG are facing significant financial challenges in the year ahead. The formation of the Alliance will put us in a better position to address the issues we face together, while also giving us all greater ability to transform and improve the way we provide health and social care for our local residents.
This will ensure all patients across central Sussex and east Surrey will continue to be able to access high quality and sustainable services now and in the future.