NHS services in Reading, Wokingham, West Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire could soon be planned and funded by a single body.

The Buckingham, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care System (BOB ICS) – a new body which brings health and care organisations together under one umbrella – has unveiled its plans for a single commissioning body.

Currently healthcare services in Reading, Wokingham and West Berkshire are commissioned by the Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

Councillor Graeme Hoskin, RBC’s lead member for Health and Wellbeing, said he has concerns about decision making going away from local areas.

He said: “One of the reasons we are working together locally [as the Inetgrated Care Partnership] is to strengthen local voice.

“I do not think it’s a great thing to have such large commissioning groups a long way from the local work we do in Reading.

“There is a danger that people from quite a long way away don’t know the local area.

“But I think it is really important that we are realistic that this is happening and make the best of it so we can deliver the best for the people of Reading.”

Berkshire West CCG chief officer Cathy Winfield announced plans to merge the three groups in September.

The proposal will be discussed at tonight’s Adult Social Care, Children’s Services and Education meeting at Reading Borough Council (RBC).

The consultation on the plans ends at midnight on December 1.

A spokesman for the BOB ICS said its priority is making sure local needs are addressed, providing people with access to quality healthcare and reducing the health inequalities that exist today.

The spokesman added: “We have a responsibility to make sure valuable resources are used wisely and in the best way to support people in living longer, happier, healthier and more independently into their old age.”

Cllr Hoskin said he is not sure why the NHS decided to match Berkshire West with Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.

He said: “The concern that is that Berkshire West, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire is not really an area that makes a lot of sense when planning healthcare and social care services.

“We have more in common with Bracknell than Aylesbury.”

Health and care partners have been working together across Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West since 2016, which led to the NHS 111 service which operates across the combined area.

CCG? ICS? BOB? ICP?! – What does it all mean?


The Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care System (BOB ICS) was created in June 2019.

The BOB ICS is made up of NHS trusts, CCGs (see below) and local authorities in the three areas and aims to reduce duplication, adopting a “do once and share” approach.


Integrated Care Partnerships (ICPs) are alliances of NHS and local government organisations that work together to plan and deliver care through a joint approach.

Berkshire West, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire each have their own ICP and will continue to do so.

Think of it as Reading Borough Council, Wokingham Borough Council and West Berkshire Council working with local NHS services to maximise their voice in the wider BOB area.


Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are responsible for planning and funding services, the four local CCGs – North and West Reading, South Reading, Newbury and District and Wokingham – merged in 2018 to make the Berkshire West CCG.

Now the three CCGs in Berkshire West, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire look set to join up as one.

The NHS Long Term Plan, published earlier this year, asked for each Integrated Care System to “typically” be covered by a single CCG.

The NHS want CCGs to become “leaner, more strategic organisations that support providers to partner with local government and other community organisations”.