The three clinical commissioning groups of Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire are set to merge into a single entity.

The move, as part of the NHS’s long term plan, and aims to enhance the services the CCG provides – particularly amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The official name of the merged organisation, Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BSW CCG), will be formally established today (Wednesday, April 1) after more than 18 months of talks.

Tracey Cox, chief executive, said: “For some time, our teams working across Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire have been working more closely together and this has enabled us, in collaboration with our health and social care partners, local authorities and voluntary sector colleagues, to start a strategic and cohesive local response to the unprecedented coronavirus challenge.

“By formally merging, we can take this one step further and use our collective strength to become more efficient in how we plan and deliver local healthcare, both now and in the future.

“Of course, we had never expected our new joined-up approach to be tested so significantly so early on in our organisation’s history, but, while our focus right now is on providing leadership and practical on-the-ground support to tackling the coronavirus, we are mindful that these difficult times will make us all the more resilient in our ongoing work towards giving each and every person in our area a healthcare system they can be proud of and have faith in.”

The newly formed CCG will provide services to a combined population of 934,000.

The new CCG will maintain its roots in local communities and will continue to be driven by local clinicians from the 94 practices across the region.

Dr Andrew Girdher, a GP from Box Surgery in Corsham, takes on the role of clinical chair for BSW CCG, while Dr Ruth Grabham, a GP based in Bath and North East Somerset, will be the new medical director.

The pair will be supported in their roles by GPs, practice nurses and other healthcare professionals across the region – all with a unique knowledge of their areas.