A troubled urban hospital group has been alarmed by growing pressure for practices to leave the clinical commissioning group that provides its patients.
The Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust is waiting for a new hospital located on the borders of Birmingham – but in the meantime runs hospitals across two boroughs in the West Midlands.
Its new hospital, the Midland Metropolitan, was badly hit by the collapse of contractors Carillion, incurring millions of pounds and months of delay to get the project up and running again.
The trust also continues to face criticism from the Care Quality Commission, which has repeatedly rated it as “requires improvement.”
A clinical commissioning group, the Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG, covers its catchment area – but practices in its Birmingham part are facing growing pressure to join a citywide organisation, the Health Service Journal has reported.
Birmingham Local Medical Committee has already backed the splitting of the CCG and, writing to GPs this month, chair Dr Bob Morley said keeping the present boundaries was “unacceptable.”
He called for a single commissioning body for the city of Birmingham.
The Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust described this as “perplexing” – warning of financial consequences and the impact on the hospital project.
The CCG said it was seeking to make “an informed decision.”
GPs are to vote on the proposals in June – and a consultation will end on 6 May.