A HEALTH chief fears tough decisions will need to be made as a result of not merging Warrington and Halton clinical commission groups (CCGs).

Senior figures had set their sights on closing down both CCGs and creating a new one next April to reduce running costs.

CCGs are clinically-led statutory NHS bodies responsible for the planning and commissioning of health care services for specific areas.

The GP membership made the decision on the matter and, as reported in September, the merger application was not submitted to NHS England because of insufficient support from members in Halton.

Dr Andrew Davies, clinical chief officer of both CCGs, highlighted the matter at Thursday’s health and wellbeing board meeting at Warrington Town Hall.

He said it means there is no longer the opportunity to take out as much of the costs for governance ‘as we would have wanted’.

“So there are, perhaps, some tougher choices to make around how we staff up the support and systems and we are having that dialogue with the governing body,” he said.

Mr Davies also confirmed discussions will be taking place with Warrington borough councillors, as well as officers.

He added that senior figures from Halton are also likely to be involved to help ensure ‘we don’t get any disconnected stories’.