No decision has been made on potential redundancies ahead of a merger between the county’s two health commissioning groups.

It was agreed last month to merge Shropshire and Telford Clinical Commissioning Groups in a bid to make 20 per cent savings.

And although David Stout, accountable officer for Shropshire CCG, confirmed there will only need to be one accountable officer for the new group, he and his Telford counterpart David Evans, said no decision had been taken on staff cuts.

Speaking to Shropshire and Telford Council’s Joint Health Overview Scrutiny Committee on Monday, Mr Evans said: “We have not yet made any decision on redundancies be it voluntarily or otherwise, but we would want to move quickly to ensure that there is no long period of uncertainty for staff.

“While nothing has been decided yet, uncertainty often leads to people leaving where they work to find somewhere stable so we are working to reassure people quickly.”

Mr Stout added: “We can confirm that there will only be one accountable officer for the merged CCG and an advert has gone out for that role at the end of last week.”

Mr Evans said: “That role had to be advertised nationally to attract the best person for the role.

“It could be that myself or David wish to apply. That is a decision we will take personally, but it has been advertised to ensure we get the best person for the job.”

He added: “We are hoping that the merger will be in place and there will be one group rather than two by April, next year.

“To make that a reality, we need to have the application in by September which means the pressure is on to deliver it.

“Representatives from both Shropshire and Telford CCGs are meeting on a weekly basis to ensure that plans are moving quickly.”

The merger has been criticised by some, mainly from Telford & Wrekin, with Councillor Shaun Davies, leader of Telford & Wrekin Council saying it will “fleece” the borough.

Concerns have been raised because Telford CCG has a balanced budget, while Shropshire CCG has a £28m deficit.