PATIENTS on Tyneside are being asked for their views on a proposed merger between three local GP-run clinical commissioning groups.

The three CCGs, which buy hospital care on behalf of their local patients in Newcastle and Gateshead, were only set up in April last year as part of the controversial reorganization of the NHS.

But now the family doctors who run the three CCGs, who already work together as the Newcastle and Gateshead Alliance, want to make the merger permanent.

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Before that can happen the three CCGs, which are made up of all 67 local GP practices, want to hear the views of local residents.

If the plan goes ahead the merger proposal will be submitted to NHS England in June.

If they are endorsed, the changes would take effect from April next year.

Residents who live on Tyneside can give their views by visiting newcastlegatesheadccgalliance.nhs.uk