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Heavy handed' NHS England forces CCG to agree to STP

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NHS England threatened commissioners in London with legal directions if they do not support plans to appoint a single accountable officer, Health Service Journal has been told.

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Two sources have told HSJ that City and Hackney Clinical Commissioning Group was told by NHS England that it could face legal directions if it does not support plans by the North East London sustainability and transformation partnership to appoint a single accountable officer.

The news follows NHS England pausing plans by the CCG to integrate health and social care budgets with Hackney council and the City of London Corporation.

City and Hackney CCG is one of the few organisations yet to agree to an STP wide plan, which includes appointing the single accountable officer and creating a joint commissioning committee.

Sources said NHS England warned the CCG it could face legal directions over its refusal to sign the agreement.

One source said the national commissioner had been “heavy handed” with the issue.

In August, HSJ also reported the Hackney health scrutiny commission had raised concerns over the plans to appoint a single accountable officer for the patch.

HSJ understands that following a meeting on 6 September, members of the scrutiny commission voted not to endorse the proposals.

A CCG spokeswoman said: “All the north east London CCGs have been working together and with NHS England on developing the accountable officer proposal, which is linked to the wider STP, for a number of months now, and also working with key stakeholders on it.

“The proposal is now being discussed by all the CCG governing bodies this month. If there is agreement, then we are keen to move forward with the new proposals.”

A spokeswoman for NHS England (London) said: “NHS England (London) is supporting all CCGs in north east London to collectively achieve their ambition, strengthen collaborative working and accelerate health and care integration for local patients and the public.”

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