NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group (STW CCG) formally came into being on Thursday.

The move creates a single, strategic commissioning group for the county of Shropshire, providing a unified approach to the planning, buying and monitoring of local health services.

STW CCG includes the 51 General Practices across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin while practices have elected clinical representatives who sit on the CCG governing body, chaired by Dr John Pepper.

Dr Pepper said: “I am proud to chair our new CCG.

"The two governing bodies for Shropshire CCG and Telford and Wrekin CCG have been working closely together since August 2020, so we are in a good position to move forward as a single organisation.

Our priority is to enhance our provision of healthcare services, ensuring they are high quality, safe and value for money.

“I am looking forward to working with our new governing body, our staff, practice members and our partners, to build on the progress we have already made.

"As our organisation continues to evolve, we will continue to engage with local people, as we strive to meet local needs in the most effective and efficient way possible.”

Dr Pepper will work closely with the executive team, led by Claire Skidmore, interim accountable officer.

She added: “I am pleased to have this opportunity to lead the newly formed commissioning organisation in the first stages of its growth.

"We will be focusing on our commissioning strategy, working to reduce health inequalities while taking account of the diverse needs in our local communities and to commission quality services while driving our financial recovery.”

The CCG will continue to work with a wide range of partners, including the health and social care providers, Local Authorities and voluntary and community sector organisations.

It will also work closely with patient groups and organisations, including Healthwatch, to ensure we have a two-way dialogue with local people, so patients have a voice which is heard.

As part of this, a new Assuring Involvement Committee is being created for the CCG, including volunteers from communities and two lay members for patient and public involvement, who will help to ensure the diverse needs of communities are considered.

There is still time to get involved, find out more here: http://bit.ly/GetInvolvedNHS_STW and apply by Wednesday, April 14.