North East and West (NEW) Devon CCG is hoping to merge with South Devon and Torbay CCG in April next year. Both CCGs have expressed an interest to NHS England to merge the organisations, in what they say is the next natural step. In May last year, NEW Devon CCG refuted claims it had gone bust though it did have a defecit of £42million in 2016/17.Last year (2017/18) NEW Devon CCG had a planned defecit just shy of £50million. It is thought the merger would help both organisations face funding challenges in the years ahead; they have already made a saving of £4million working together in the last year. This has includinged merging the two executive teams and establishing a common governing body and committees. Executive directors now sit in Devon-wide roles working across both CCGs. Dr Sonja Manton, director of strategy at the two CCGs in Devon, said: We have made significant progress working as a health and care system in Devon over the past two years. As commissioners (buyer) of health care services for our local population, our two CCGs have worked more closely together for over a year, and this has brought many improvements and benefits such as speeding up decision making and making cost savings and efficiencies of nearly £4million on running costs. We have achieved much more together than we would have working separately. A merger of our two organisations is the natural next step, and we have expressed an interest to NHS England to merge our two organisations from April 2019. We are working with staff, clinicians, partners and stakeholders to ensure that everyone is involved in the changes as they develop. This is an important step in our journey to better integrate health and care services to benefit our local communities. In Devon, we have well-established joint working arrangements with our local government partners and this will be strengthened as we design a new more integrated approach.Do you think the two CCGs should merge? Vote in our poll above.