Two health boards are to join forces.

The governing bodies of NHS Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS North Kirklees CCG are to hold their meetings together each month.

The CCGs are led by doctors, officers and lay-people who run the health care services locally, planning and commissioning services including GP practices and funding hospital services.

There are currently 15 members of the Greater Huddersfield CCG and 15 at the North Kirklees counterpart - with five people sitting on both boards.

They include Carol McKenna, now the Chief Officer of both CCGs.

CGC Chief Officer Carol McKenna.

In a statement the CCGs say: “The change is part of a move towards closer collaboration which was strengthened recently with the appointment of a shared chief officer.

“This more joined up approach will allow governing body members to learn from each other and share their expertise and experience to support decision making and efficiency.”

To some it will be seen as a step back to prior to 2013 when there was one health board covering a similar function.

In 2001 Primary Care Trusts were introduced to give one approach to running health services locally.

Previously there had been three - the Huddersfield Central, South Huddersfield and North Kirklees PCT - which ran until 2006 when they merged together until they were disbanded in favour of separate entities.

In 2013 the NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG and NHS North Kirklees CCG were established with each having a focus on their own area.

NHS logo
NHS logo

But over time they have been working together and already jointly commission a range of healthcare and support services and share a number of staff.

The CCGs added: “With an increased focus on joint working the CCGs are able to make more efficient use of common resources and commission more integrated services that will help tackle increasing pressures while delivering better outcomes for the people of Kirklees.

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“The CCGs are changing the way they work but there are no plans for a formal merger and they will remain as separate organisations, each with a statutory requirement to maintain their own governing body.”

The public meetings of the governing bodies will take place from 10.30am to 1.30pm on the second Wednesday of every month starting on January 10. They will alternate between Huddersfield and Dewsbury.

Greater Huddersfield CCG is made up of 37 GP practices and serves a population of approximately 243,000 registered patients across Huddersfield and the Valleys area and the North Kirklees CCG is made up of 27 GP practices and serves a population of approximately 191,600 registered patients in Dewsbury, Batley, Mirfield and Cleckheaton.