The decision to merge the county’s two health commissioning groups was made after they were told to save £1.2 million between them this year.

Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group and its Telford counterpart, decided “stripping out” the two groups made more sense than saving the funds.

The move has caused controversy across parts of the county, especially with those in Telford, which had a balanced budget. Shropshire CCG meanwhile, has a £28 million deficit.

But the two groups agreed to the merger in May and David Stout, accountable officer for Shropshire CCG and David Evans, his counterpart in Telford, will present their thinking behind the decision at a meeting on Monday.

The pair will present a paper to Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin Council’s Joint Health Overview Scrutiny Committee.

The two say in the report: “The NHS is now in a period of transition with new emerging concepts of the role of commissioner and provider organisations.

“CCGs must respond flexibly to the new landscape and consider where best to focus clinical and managerial leadership and how they can adapt and interface with their local Sustainability and Transformation Partnership to transform into a commissioning organisations fit for this future.

“The recently published NHS Long Term Plan reinforces this direction of travel.

“In addition CCGs have been tasked with making 20 per cent reductions in their running costs by the end of the financial year, 2019/2020.

“To meet the 20 per cent reduction in running costs, the total reduction in allocations between 2018/19 and 2019/20 is £1.218m across both CCGs: (£0.775m for Shropshire CCG and £0.443 for Telford and Wrekin CCG).

“Although the first option has some benefits, it was felt that the efficiencies both CCGs could achieve by stripping out all the duplication of effort, time and staff resource currently used to commission services and oversee contractual performance of the same providers would not be fully realised, as some duplication will still remain.

“This option would allow better use of clinical time available to the system by sharing clinical input into pathway design and reducing the duplication of clinical input into decision making processes which are often duplicated.

“It will allow the duplication of CCG staff time, that is currently used to undertake the same task twice, for example contracting and overseeing performance of providers, to be focused on other commissioning priorities, i.e. health inequalities/prevention.

“There will also be an efficiency saving for providers in that they do not have to deal with two commissioners, sometimes asking for different services or different ways of delivering services, which will release resource into those organisations.”

They added: “It is acknowledged that it is often inevitable that some of the anticipated benefits of transformational change that were identified at the beginning of a project, may not always emerge or have the transformational impact that was first anticipated.

“It is for this reason that as part of the authorisation process NHS England will require both CCGs to develop a Case for Change document that seeks to outline in more detail the anticipated benefits, but also disbenefits and mitigation of undertaking the proposed dissolution of the existing CCGs and creation of a new CCG across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.”

The meeting will be held on Monday, June 24 at 10.30am at Shirehall, Shrewsbury.