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Revealed: NHS England's new area team structure

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LGC’s sister title Health Service Journal can reveal the 12 area teams that will be created as part of NHS England’s upcoming major restructure.

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The national commissioning body will merge its current 24 teams outside London into 12.

The move is part of a restructure aimed at reducing running costs by 15 per cent by April, by cutting hundreds of posts, and improving the way the organisation functions.

The changes will result in NHS England’s regional teams for the North, South, and Midlands and East taking on more responsibility from area teams. London already has a bigger regional team and slimmed down area teams. HSJ understands the three regional teams will take on responsibility for specialised commissioning from area teams and employ more senior managers that at present.

It is understood that, while the number of area team directors will reduce, NHS England will retain some staff presence in each of the existing 24 areas.

Directors are expected to be selected for the new structures in the run up to Christmas.

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens is due to update staff on plans on 1 October, when the formal consultation is due to start.

Several sources said NHS England had so far been reluctant to offer to make senior managers redundant as part of the process.

HSJ understands the new teams will be:

North:

  • Yorkshire: North Yorkshire and Humber, South Yorkshire And Bassetlaw area team with West Yorkshire area team
  • Greater Manchester and Lancashire area teams
  • North East and Cumbria: Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear area team with Durham, Darlington and Tees area team
  • Cheshire, Warrington and Wirral area team with Merseyside area team

Midlands and East:

  • Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire area team with Staffordshire and Shropshire area team
  • Birmingham and the Black Country team with Arden, Herefordshire and Worcestershire area team
  • Leicestershire and Lincolnshire area team with Hertfordshire and the South Midlands area team
  • East Anglia and Essex area teams

South

  • Devon and Cornwall area team with Bristol, North Somerset, Somerset and South Gloucestershire area team
  • Kent and Medway area team with Surrey and Sussex area team
  • Thames Valley area team with Bath, Gloucestershire, Swindon and Wiltshire area team
  • Wessex (remains the same)

The three teams in London are expected to remain the same: North Central and East, North West, and South.

NHS England said: “We will soon be publishing our proposed structure for consultation. Those proposals have not been finalised and therefore this is speculation.”

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