NHS South West London CCG was formed on 1 April 2020, in a merger of the six previous South West London borough CCGs: Croydon, Kingston, Merton, Richmond, Sutton and Wandsworth.
The six CCGs had been working together for some time on developments such as Primary Care Networks – groups of GPs integrating primary care with other services – strengthening of local health and care partnerships and the development of six local health and care plans, which had an impact on how we operated. Also, the NHS Long Term Plan published in January 2019 was clear that NHS organisations should work closely together.
Therefore, in early 2019 the governing bodies of the six south west London CCGs all agreed to proceed with discussions to potentially merge into a single CCG for south west London.
Our ambition for South West London was for each local borough to bring together health and care leaders in a local system to ensure that they remained clinically led and retained the ability to engage with and consider the needs of their local communities. A single CCG could better support this ambition by enabling NHS organisations to collaborate, consider the needs of local communities and transform and improve services with partners to deliver local priorities.
We were keen that we co-designed our own model for the way that we worked together and in a way that worked for our GPs, for our partners and for local people across south west London. Therefore, we discussed the proposed merger at CCG governing body meetings with our members, engaged with staff, local authorities, provider trusts, Healthwatch and other stakeholders to design proposals that the six CCG Governing Bodies could consider and agree.
All six South West London CCG Governing Bodies agreed the ambition to become a single CCG, and the six GP memberships voted in favour. NHS England then approved our application to become NHS South West London CCG in October 2019.