New South of England health body is formed through merger

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THE health authority that covers Portsmouth and Hampshire has merged with two others to form a regional body.

NHS South of England came into effect this week and is made up of three former strategic health authorities – NHS South Central, which covered the Portsmouth area, NHS South East Coast and NHS South West.

The new cluster is one of four that has been formed by the government, which has merged 10 previous SHAs, and aims to improve NHS performance.

Dr Geoff Harris, chairman of NHS South Central, said: ‘I’m delighted to confirm the appointments of the new directors to the board.

‘There are many challenges ahead, but I am confident we will be able to meet these given the exceptional calibre of the people who have been appointed to lead the organisation for the next 18 months.’

SHAs are responsible for implementing national health guidelines at a local level.

From March, 31, 2013, the four SHAs will be replaced by a new NHS Commissioning Board, who will work with clinical commissioning groups, led by GPs.