The GP-run body that commissions healthcare in south west Hertfordshire has been disbanded as part of a major NHS shake-up.

The Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) - which oversees health services for the area’s 1.5 million population ­— has been replaced by a Hertfordshire and West Essex-wide board.

The move is in line with the new Health and Care Act 2022 and will change the way health services are 'bought and planned' for patients.

Two new organisations launched on July 1 - the Hertfordshire and West Essex Integrated Care Board and Integrated Care Partnership, which health bosses say aim to improve joined-up care for people who rely on a number of different services at the same time.

This organisation brings together staff from three clinical commissioning groups as well as social care representatives from Hertfordshire and Essex county councils.

Watford Observer: Herts Valleys CCG has been based at The Marlowes in Hemel Hempstead. Credit: Google Street ViewHerts Valleys CCG has been based at The Marlowes in Hemel Hempstead. Credit: Google Street View

Paul Burstow, chairman of the Hertfordshire and West Essex Integrated Care System, said: “The changes that come in to effect recognise both the short term pressures we need to tackle, such as reducing treatment backlogs and ensuring that everyone gets access to excellent care, as well as our longer term goal of creating the conditions in which people can flourish.

"Advances in care and treatment since the NHS was created almost 74 years ago have contributed to people living longer lives. However, we have seen this progress slow in recent years, with more people in later life living those extra years with a number of health conditions and disabilities. 

"We have to tackle the underlying causes of poor health, not just treat the consequences."

Watford Observer:

Dr Jane Halpin, chief executive of the new integrated care board, added: “As a public health doctor who has lived and worked in this area for many years, I’m looking forward to tackling the challenges that the new integrated care board will face.

“There are no quick-fixes to creating healthier communities, but listening to the people who live and work here, learning from their experiences and meeting their needs through working together has to be the best way forward for everyone.”