A NEWLY appointed chief executive of a Solihull and Birmingham super-group overseeing GPs has optimistically predicted ‘exciting times’ after merger.
The NHS Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has appointed Paul Jennings to the role.
The newly formed CCG is a fusion of several Birmingham and Solihull CCG’s to create a new single commissioning organisation from April – buying in services for their patients.
CCGs are groups of GPs’ surgeries in the borough. The new CCG will be the largest in England.
They were created by the former coalition government in a stated bid to have doctors running the NHS, finding savings and ending so-called ‘top-down government’ in the NHS.
But CCGs in the borough have found themselves running at deficits and more NHS budget cuts are required.
The Solihull CCG says Mr Jennings has been working with the Birmingham and Solihull CCGs on an interim basis since July last year.
And following a competitive recruitment process, he has now been appointed to the role permanently.
Mr Jennings was born, raised and educated in Birmingham and lives in Sutton Coldfield.
He retired from his last NHS role in January last year, after 38 years’ service.
He has led a wide range of NHS organisations, being recognised both regionally and nationally for his work.
He said: “This is an exciting time for the NHS in Birmingham and Solihull; we have a great opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of local people. The new CCG will be a large and ambitious organisation, with big challenges.
“We have much to do to ensure that we are commissioning high-quality and sustainable services for our patients, which address the massive health inequalities across the area.”
His immediate focus will be to ensure that Birmingham CrossCity, Birmingham South Central and Solihull CCGs – currently working together as Birmingham and Solihull CCGs – fulfill all of the requirements to create the new Birmingham and Solihull CCG from April 1.
This has triggered some concern about whether the new CCG will be able to effectively distribute resources to cover demand over such a wide and diverse area.
Dr Peter Ingham, clinical chair of Birmingham and Solihull CCG, added: “I am delighted to welcome Paul as the new permanent chief executive of our CCG and look forward to working with him to continue to build strong and mutually beneficial partnerships with our health and social care partners across Birmingham and Solihull.”